Loupe leads before nature intervenes

Loupe impresses before weather intervenes

Andrew Loupe carded an eight-under-par 63 at Monterey Peninsula to take the clubhouse lead before Mother Nature intervened at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

It wasn’t a pleasant day in California on Thursday and those teeing off early were on the courses for just 39 minutes before play was halted because of standing water on the three courses.

Following a delay of nearly three hours, players finally returned and Loupe made the most of the good conditions to post a career-best round.

After picking up three shots on his front nine, the 25-year-old made it a flawless opening round with five more birdies on the back nine.

“I had a blast out there,” he told PGATour.com.

He added: “I think it’s settling in. You’re not putting next to the guys you’ve been putting next to. You’re not hitting balls to the guys you’ve been hitting balls next to.

“I’m looking at guys I’ve been watching on TV, you know, and it’s just realising that I’m supposed to be here. I’m here for a reason and I think I was a little nervy the last couple weeks and I thought I did a lot better job of that today.”

Loupe has a two-shot lead over Stuart Appleby, Jim Renner, Scott Gardiner, Richard H Lee, and Jimmy Walker. The first three also played on the Monterey Peninsula course while Walker was over Pebble Beach Golf Course.

European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley carded five birdies for a 67 to find himself tied seventh along with Jordan Spieth, who posted the best score at Spyglass, and two other players.

Four-time Pebble Beach winner winner Phil Mickelson also made a good start to the tournament was also five under when play was suspended. His flawless round included an eagle at the par-five sixth. That was just moments before the round was called off.

Defending champion Graeme McDowell started with a one-under-par 71 after carding two bogeys and three birdies.

When play was suspended for the day, 43 players still had to complete their round.