A ball in hand is worth two on the beach

Brian Gay and Scott Langley lead at Pebble Beach


It’s wet and chilly in California for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, but those professional golfers suffered through it anyway. Scott Langley and Brian Gay hold the lead through one round while defending champion Ted Potter Jr. sits in DFL after a first-round 82 at Spyglass Hills. Pebble Beach Leaderboard

The Unexpected

It’s not unusual for there to be surprise names on top of Thursday leaderboards and that is exactly what we have this week. Scott Langley has never won on the PGA Tour and Brian Gay’s last victory came six years ago. Langley won the 2010 NCAA Championship but has yet to completely find his footing on the PGA Tour. His best FedExCup finish is 73rd, but he spent 2018 on the Web.com Tour.

Brian Gay has been playing some solid golf over the last 12 months but hasn’t really sniffed a win. He collected six top 10s last season and finished inside the top 50 in the season-long race. Gay is one of the shortest hitters on the tour, but his style of play is not hurt at Monterey Peninsula or Pebble Beach this week. His round at Spyglass Hill could get a little dicey, but he has himself in good position after one round.

One Back

There is a startlingly good amount of notable players just one shot back of the lead. Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Kevin Kisner and Si-Woo Kim all shot -6 on Thursday. They are also joined by the efforts of Matt Every and Cody Gribble. Kim is the only player in the top 8 to shoot -6 or better on Pebble Beach while the others all played Spyglass or MP.

We need to dedicate a whole paragraph to Matt Every. The dude has played 60 (!!!!) events over the last two seasons and missed 33 of those cuts. He grinds his ass off and deserves a breakthrough after a long couple of years. We’re pulling hard for him this weekend.

Other Leaderboard Notes

Branden Grace was five-under through 6 holes but would not get any deeper. He’s coming off a runner-up finish last weekend and is playing inspired golf.

Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth each shot 66 on the MP Shore Course. DJ is coming off his win in Saudi Arabia, but Jordan is still in search of his old form.

Kenny Perry sighting! The grizzled vet shot a first-round 67 and finds himself in the top 20. Matt Kuchar, José de Jesús Rodríguez Martínez and Graeme McDowell are all tied with Perry at T-18.

Ho-Sung Choi got off to a rough start on Thursday but crawled his way back to a 73. He’ll play Spyglass Hills on Friday and then Pebble during the CBS broadcast on Saturday.

Happy Windsday, Piglet

It was a blustery day down in Panama, but scores were relatively low on the Web.com Tour. Australian Tim Wilkinson leads after a first-round 65, but only 32 guys broke par on Thursday. Xinjun Zhang, Mike Weir and Brett Coletta are all one shot back.

First alternate Matt Harmon missed out on the event after flying from Florida to Panama last night and watching all 144 players tee off without a hitch. (via @acaseofthegolf1)

Down Unda

The second round of the Vic Open in Australia is still underway, but we have a very jumbled leaderboard for both the women and the men. Nick Flanagan led the way after a Thursday 62 but was chased down by a pack of chasers. Kim Kaufman and Su Oh are amongst the leaders on the women’s side. Men’s Leaderboard     Women’s Leaderboard

Quick Hooks

Brandt Snedeker made birdie from the beach… literally. Watch

The PLAYERS’ new trophy is 24k gold. It’s a trophy fit for a king (or a major championship?).

It is supposed to be wet and windy tomorrow at Pebble Beach. Expect some fun conditions!

The Latest Podcasts and Articles

Shotgun Start: A nuclear take on ProTracer, Fan vote apathy, and naming the new gold Players trophy

Andy and Brendan close out the week with some quick reactions to the play at Pebble and the Vic Open. They review Phil’s improved accuracy, Hosung’s struggles, and Ted Potter’s complete implosion. Then they discuss the idea of Dru Love as “America’s Guest” (hat tip Lou Brown) and Andy puts it on him to find another Tour to train as a professional. They reveal their disappointment at the widespread, almost incomprehensible voter apathy for “Fan Vote Friday.” They dismiss the alleged tee box inequities scandal between the Euro Tour and LPGA Tour competitions at the Vic Open. A news segment covers the new Players trophy and tries to come up with a name for the gold fella, while Andy gets confused and angry around the promotional wording of it. They close with a Flashback Friday on Gene Littler and that time some sand vandals ruined CBS’ blimp shot of Pebble Beach. Listen on iTunesStitcher or Spotify