A nervous Stuart Appleby making his debut as PGA Tour Champions shares the lead after the first round of the Pure Insurance Championship in California.
The Australian, who turned 50 on May 1st, is tied with German Alex Cejka after they both shot six under par 66 at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Tom Lehman, who played on Pebble Beach, and South Korea’s KJ Choi, who played on Spyglass Hill Golf Course, both shot five under 67 and shared third place.
Glen Day, Kirk Triplett and Mexico’s Esteban Toledo, who all played against Pebble Beach and Larry Mize, who played against Spyglass Hill, are tied with four under fifth.
Appleby, a nine-time PGA Tour winner, carded seven birdies and only one bogey.
“I had no idea what to expect,” he said. “I was a little nervous at the beginning. I really didn’t play a lot of golf. It was really difficult to finish 18 holes.
“So and then when I did the practice laps I didn’t really know how I was going to feel. Legs pretty tired. The game was pretty rusty today. Somehow it felt – felt good.
“I got off to a good start. I was a bit nervous with the cameras around. I haven’t seen anything like this in a while. So that was a little bit strange … so I was happy to be able to get off the day . “
Cejka completed a bogey-free lap. He is looking for his third championship win after winning the Regions Tradition and Senior PGA Championship in May
He was the first PGA Tour Champions player to win his first two majors since Arnold Palmer (1980-81).
But in nine tournaments since his second win, Cejka never got higher than a tie for fifth place, while having only two top 10 results.