D.A. Points knew it was going to be a great week at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am when he learned Bill Murray was his amateur partner. It got better Thursday.
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 Country Club, he opened with a 7-under 63 and shared the lead with Steve Marino.
Points says he shot 63 because of Murray – not in spite of his funnyman routine.
“To be honest, it really loosens me up and makes me between shots not be grinding so hard on what I’m doing,” Points said. “It helps me take a little bit of a breather between shots and joke around with him.”
There was much to enjoy on a glorious day. Conditions on the three courses were superb.
Marino had an unusual 7-under 65 at Spyglass Hill, where he 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 by holing a 3-wood from 240 yards on the par-5 10th.
The group at 5 under included Gary Woodland, whose 67 was the best score at Pebble Beach.
Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson both shot 71s on the Shore Course.
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. The 21-year-old was four shots ahead of No. 1 Lee Westwood and No. 2 Martin Kaymer and six ahead of inconsistent No. 3 Tiger Woods. Karrie Webb had eight birdies in an opening 6-under 66 and was in a six-way tie for the lead at the Australian Ladies Masters in Gold Coast. Karen Lunn, Ji Eun Hee, Cassandra Kirkland, Maria Hernandez and Diana Luna were also tied for the lead.