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Professional

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Golf

Tour rookie shoots 63 to open Pebble Beach

– Andrew Loupe shot an 8-under 63 on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula for the lowest score among first-round finishers at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Loupe had to wait three hours to tee off because of rain Thursday, and then he played bogey-free.

Rain soaked the Monterey Peninsula in the morning, forcing play to be stopped on all three courses.

Monterey Peninsula played the easiest, and Loupe took advantage. He never had to scramble for par, missed only one fairway and only two of his birdies were more than 10 feet.

“This place is amazing,” Loupe said with a smile as wide as a fairway.

The 25-year-old from Louisiana hasn’t made the cut in five starts his rookie season. Loupe might not even have a PGA Tour card except for his tie for sixth in the last event of the Web.com Tour Finals. He had missed the cut in his previous three Finals events, including the Hotel Fitness Championship in Fort Wayne.

Stuart Appleby, Jim Renner, Richard Lee and Scott Gardiner had 65s at Monterey Peninsula. Phil Mickelson, a four-time champion, was at 5-under par through 15 holes when the round was stopped because of darkness.

EUROPEAN: In Johannesburg, Edoardo Molinari was part of a four-way tie for the first-round lead at the European Tour’s Joburg Open with his 7-under 64.

The Italian was joined by Scottish pair Alastair Forsyth and Craig Lee and South African Justin Walters.

Molinari, a 2010 Ryder Cup player, opened with three straight birdies at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington and collected eight in all on the par-71 West Course. Lee had the most impressive round with his 7-under 65 on the tougher par-72 East Course.

Players play one round on each of the East and West courses on Thursday and today before finishing on the East over the weekend.

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