Kitayama Leads Pebble Beach because the Worst of the Wind Looms

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Kurt Kitayama is beginning to really feel extra comfy every time he will get in rivalry on the PGA Tour, and the Californian can solely hope that is the case going into the weekend on the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Kitayama opened with 10 straight pars earlier than getting on monitor and completed birdie-par on two of the more durable holes at Pebble Beach for a 2-under 70 that gave him a one-shot lead Friday.

Kitayama was at 9-under 134 and led by one over Keith Mitchell, Brandon Wu, Joseph Bramlett and Hank Lebioda.

The means the forecast seems, getting comfy on the Monterey Peninsula takes on a distinct which means.

Katayama’s final shot at his first PGA Tour win was within the fall within the CJ Cup of South Carolina at Congaree. He was tied for the lead going into the weekend with Jon Rahm, and he was within the ultimate group and one shot behind Rory McIlroy going to the ultimate spherical.

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He additionally completed runner-up to Rahm in Mexico final 12 months, and to Xander Schauffele within the Scottish Open.

“I feel the extra you place your self in that place the extra you will get comfy feeling uncomfortable,” Kitayama mentioned. “It’s positively good experiences to fall again on and use coming Sunday, hopefully.”

The contenders at Pebble do not have that sort of star energy. Of the main 10 gamers, solely 4 have received on the PGA Tour and Scott Stallings is the one a number of winner.

Far extra daunting is the fickle climate at this event.

Starting occasions for Saturday had been moved up one hour due to sturdy wind, and it would not take a lot in these components for it to be an issue.

Lebioda felt it coming down the stretch Friday at Pebble Beach. He was main many of the day till a double bogey on the par-3 fifth gap when he went properly left of the inexperienced, dumped the following shot in a bunker and took three to get down.

He completed with a bogey and needed to accept a 72.

“It was positively tougher,” Lebioda mentioned. “I believed there was slightly bit extra wind throughout my spherical than I had yesterday out at Monterey. Course might be slightly bit tougher, as properly. So a mix of these two issues made it a difficult spherical.”

Lebioda strikes over to Spyglass Hill and grow to be a singular footnote in historical past. Saturday shall be his eleventh consecutive PGA Tour spherical on his eleventh totally different course. That’s partially a produce of lacking his final 5 cuts on tour.

He performed Port Royal within the Bermuda Championship. He performed the Plantation and Seaside programs at Sea Island within the RSM Classic. He began this 12 months enjoying three programs in The American Express. From there he was off to Torrey Pines on the North and South Course. And this week he is been at Monterey Peninsula, Pebble and Spyglass Hill.

“We do our greatest to attempt to strategy every spherical as its personal occasion,” he mentioned.

Mitchell (68), Wu (66) and Bramlett (67) all performed at Monterey Peninsula.

Seamus Power of Ireland delivered the low spherical of a day that started with rain earlier than giving approach to regular wind and infrequently chilly climate when the shifting clouds stored the solar away. He had a 64 at Monterey Peninsula to get inside two of the lead.

“The first 5, six holes sort of wet and the ball simply wasn’t going anyplace. Not a lot wind,” Power mentioned. “Then we bought to the flip after which for like an hour, hour-and-a-half, it actually blew like fairly strongly there for awhile. The previous few holes was very nice.

“It was a type of days sort of like again residence in Ireland the place you get plenty of seasons in someday.”

Viktor Hovland, who received a U.S. Amateur and was low newbie within the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, is enjoying this event for the primary time. He shot 67 at Monterey Peninsula and was three pictures to par behind.

Jordan Spieth had a 68 at Monterey Peninsula and was 5 behind.

They subsequent face Pebble Beach, the hardest of the three programs within the wind as a result of so many holes are uncovered alongside the ocean.

Spieth hoped for slightly higher Friday, however he was mildly happy that the lead did not get too far-off from him.

“Still in it,” he mentioned. “But we bought what seems like a tricky couple days arising.”

AP golf: https://USA Prime and

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