Thu, 30 Nov 2023

Nine players share early lead at Pure Insurance Championship

Field Level Media
23 Sep 2023, 11:55 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Tork Mason / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Jerry Kelly, Mike Weir of Canada and Steven Alker of New Zealand are part of a nine-way knot for first place after one round of the Pure Insurance Championship on Friday in Monterey Peninsula, Calif.

The logjam at 4-under 68 also features Brian Gay, Dicky Pride, Vijay Singh of Fiji, India's Arjun Atwal, Richard Green of Australia and South Korea's Y.E. Yang.

Gay moved into the solo lead at 5 under late in his round at Spyglass Hill Golf Course with his fifth birdie of the day, but he immediately followed it with a bogey to drop back to the pack.

The nine leaders are one stroke ahead of Lee Janzen, Justin Leonard, Alex Cejka of Germany, Jesper Parnevik of Sweden and Carlos Franco of Paraguay at 3-under 69.

Everyone in the field will play one round at Pebble Beach Golf Links and one at Spyglass Hill Golf Course. The tournament features a 36-hole cut -- a rarity on the PGA Tour Champions -- as only the top 50 players and ties will proceed to the final round Sunday at Pebble Beach.

Kelly, who is still on the hunt for his first win this season, has been a runner-up twice at the PURE Insurance Championship. He was the only co-leader who went bogey-free on Friday, carding his 68 at Spyglass Hill.

"Cool, I love it. And usually Pebble goes lower than Spy, so I'm more than happy about my position on Spy and just getting a couple good days at Pebble and have some fun," Kelly said.

Weir had a birdie and two consecutive bogeys through five holes at Pebble Beach before shifting into gear, responding with birdies at the par-5 sixth and the par-3 seventh before adding three on the back nine.

"I have great friends down here and it's just my favorite course," Weir said of Pebble Beach. "You play it today where it's warm and the ball's chasing a little bit with a northwest wind. We played the other day where it's kind of foggy and you have a south wind and it kind of played -- I hit a driver, 9-iron to No. 9 and in the practice round I hit a driver, 4-iron. So that's what I love about Pebble, you use every club in the bag."

Alker, last season's Charles Schwab Cup winner, is fifth in the standings this year. He started his round at Spyglass on the back nine and had a string of three birdies before ending his day with birdies at Nos. 8 and 9.

Defending champion Steve Flesch opened with a 1-over 73 at Spyglass.

--Field Level Media

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