D.A. Points knew it was going to be a great week at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am when he found out Bill Murray was his amateur partner.
It got even better yesterday.
Points found Murray’s antics to be more amusing than annoying, and it showed in his play. With eight birdies on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula, he opened with a 7-under-par 63 and shared the first-round lead with Steve Marino.
There was plenty to enjoy for most everyone on a glorious day on the peninsula, with only a mild breeze to accompany views that were as spectacular as ever.
The rounds took six hours, as usual, but some of that was because of the speed of the greens.
Marino shot 65 at Spyglass Hill but failed to birdie any of the par 5s. He still managed seven birdies, including a big drive and a wedge to inside a foot on his final hole.
The best shot of the day belonged to Alex Cejka, who was one shot behind after a 64 on the Shore Course. He started his round by holing a 3-wood from the fairway on the par-5 10th for a double eagle. The PGA Tour checked its records as far back as 1982 and could not find another player who had started a round with an albatross.
The group at 5 under included Keegan Bradley of Hopkinton, who played the Shore Course, and Gary Woodland, whose 67 was the best score at Pebble Beach.
Phil Mickelson didn’t provide too many highlights, opening with a 1-over 71. Dustin Johnson, trying to become the first player since this tournament began in 1937 to win three successive years, made bogeys on two par 5s and had to settle for a 71.
European — Rory McIlroy upstaged the world’s top three golfers with a 7-under 65 to take the first-round lead at the Dubai Desert Classic in the United Arab Emirates, four shots better than No. 1 Lee Westwood and No. 2 Martin Kaymer, and six ahead of an inconsistent Tiger Woods.
McIlroy, whose only European Tour win came in Dubai two years ago, had eight birdies at the Emirates Golf Club. Sergio Garcia (67) and Thomas Aiken (67) trailed by two shots.
Woods shot 71 and had problems early in the day, twice going to 2 over. But he eagled the 18th hole after hitting a 3-wood from 250 yards to 10 feet.
Australian Ladies Masters — Seven-time major winner Karrie Webb had eight birdies in an opening-round 6-under 66 and was in a six-way tie for the lead in Gold Coast, Australia.
Webb was tied with Australian compatriot Karen Lunn, 2009 US Women’s Open champion Ji Eun Hee of South Korea, Cassandra Kirkland of France, Maria Hernandez of Spain, and Diana Luna of Italy.