Thursday’s roundup: Justins hit high note at Pebble Beach

Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Pebble Beach, Calif. — Justin Rose, a U.S. Open champion and the No. 7 player in the world, shot a 6-under 66 his first time playing Spyglass Hill and spent a gorgeous day listening to the fans call out his name.

Except they weren’t calling for him, and he knew it.

His partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is Justin Timberlake.

“I’ve never seen a demographic like that on a golf course where you’re sort of running the gauntlet from one tee to the other. Everyone was under 21 and 80 percent female,” Rose said. “I said, ‘OK, that moved the needle a little bit there.’”

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh finished with a 3-under 69 with partner Matt Bettencourt, who shot 5-over 77 in a round that included four bogeys, three double bogeys and five birdies. The tandem are tied for 97th among 156 teams.

Rose did OK himself.

He got off to a strong start is his debut at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where Chez Reavie had the low score at a tournament that needs three days to sort out because of the variety of courses.

Reavie made an eagle on No. 16 and shot 8-under 63 at Monterey Peninsula, which played more than 1 1/2 strokes under par and was the easiest of the three courses. Freddie Jacobson made five birdies in a six-hole stretch and shot 7-under 65 at Pebble Beach, the only course to play over par (72.06) on Thursday.

Cameron Smith and Bronson Burgoon each had a 7-under 64 at Monterey Peninsula.

Rose is among six players from the top 10 in the world, and the only one of them to break 70. This is his first time playing the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, partly because he chose not to play in the Middle East Swing on the European Tour, and partly because of a partner (Timberlake) that he has come to know over the years.

Both did well at their crafts.

Rose strung together seven birdies, holing out from the bunker on No. 10 and ending his round with a 50-foot birdie putt that banged into the back of the cup.

He played Pebble Beach and Monterey Peninsula for his practice rounds and realized he should have been at Spyglass “because it’s a pretty tough course.”

“There’s some strong holes on it,” Rose said. “And I heard some strange reports about Spyglass, like the first few holes are great, then it disappears into the hills and it’s not that good.

“That’s not what I saw. That’s a pretty stellar golf course to me and really enjoyed playing it.”

Harding leads Tshwane

Justin Harding fired a 7-under 63 to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the European Tour’s Tshwane Open.

Harding’s round featured eight birdies and one bogey as only 22 players managed to go under par at Pretoria Country Club.

Harding was at the head of five South Africans at the top of the leaderboard. Anthony Michael was 6 under par, Theunis Spangenberg 5 under, Jaco van Zyl 4 under and Merrick Bremner 3 under. Charl Schwartzel was in a tie for 38th after opening with a 1-over 71.

The Tshwane Open is the fifth European Tour event in South Africa this season.