The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 8, 2014

Walker, Spieth take the lead at Pebble Beach Pro-Am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — The wind and the rain arrived Friday, perhaps a prelude to a nasty weekend. Leave it to a pair of Texans — Jimmy Walker and Jordan Spieth — to thrive in Crosby Clambake conditions at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Walker made some tough par saves and wound up bogey-free at Spyglass Hill with a 3-under 69. Spieth was down the coast at Monterey Peninsula, where he called the birdie on his final hole the best of his life. He’s only 20, but it was a proud moment.

They were tied for the lead going into the third round, one shot to par ahead of Hunter Mahan.

The slight advantage would go to Walker, who was at 9-under 135. Already a two-time winner this season, Walker next goes over to Monterey Peninsula, the easiest of the three courses in the rotation. Spieth was at 9-under 134 and headed to Pebble Beach, which can be brutal in nasty weather.

And the forecast for Saturday was not particularly pleasant.

Along with a three-club wind on the exposed sections of all three courses, steady rain began coming down sideways toward the end of the second round. There was about a 75 percent chance for more rain Saturday.

More than looking ahead, Spieth was looking behind. He was happy to at least get Spyglass out of the way already, having opened with a 67 on Thursday. That didn’t make the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula a picnic.

“Today was very difficult,” Spieth said. “We started out in the rain and wind, and we finished in rainier and windier,” he said.

Spieth caught Walker for a share of the lead on the 187-yard ninth hole, which typically requires a 6-iron. He watched Kevin Chappell hit first with a 3-iron, and the ball rolled back down off the front of the green. Spieth doesn’t carry a 3-iron.

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