Thu, 28 Oct 2021

Stuart Appleby shares lead after first Champions round

Field Level Media
25 Sep 2021, 12:40 GMT+10

Australia's Stuart Appleby, making his PGA Tour Champions debut, shares the lead after the first round of the Pure Insurance Championship in Pebble Beach, Calif.

Appleby, who turned 50 on May 1, is tied with another 50-year-old, Germany's Alex Cejka, after both shot 6-under-par 66 at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Tom Lehman, who played Pebble Beach, and South Korea's K.J. Choi, who played Spyglass Hill Golf Course, both shot 5-under 67 to share third place.

Glen Day, Kirk Triplett and Mexico's Esteban Toledo, who all played Pebble Beach, and Larry Mize, who played Spyglass Hill, are tied for fifth place at 4 under.

Appleby, a nine-time winner on the PGA Tour, carded seven birdies and just one bogey.

"I had no idea what to expect," he said. "I was a bit nervous starting. I haven't played any golf really at all, much. Just getting 18 holes completed has been really difficult. So and then walking the practice rounds, didn't really know how I'd feel. Legs pretty tired. Game was pretty rusty today. Sort of felt -- felt all right.

"I got off to a good start. I was a bit nervous, with the cameras around. I haven't really seen anything like that for a while. So that was a bit strange ... so I was happy to get out of the day."

Cejka completed a bogey-free round. He is looking for his third Champions victory, having won the Regions Tradition and the Senior PGA Championship, both in May. He was the first PGA Tour Champions player to win his first two majors since Arnold Palmer (1980-81).

However, in nine tournaments since his second win, Cejka never finished higher than a tie for fifth while recording just two top-10 results.

--Field Level Media

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