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PGA TOUR: Stroud stays hot with 69

Three consecutive birdies in the middle of the back nine turned a so-so round into a three-under-par 69 for Chris Stroud Thursday in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

With his fourth consecutive round in the 60s, Stroud pretty much took up where he left last week in the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The notable exception was that Stroud, who is tied for 28th, drove the ball better, hitting 9-of-14 fairways and missing badly just once.

Included in the good news for Stroud was that his score came at Pebble Beach, one of three courses being used. Seven of the day’s lowest 10 rounds were posted at much more gettable Monterey Peninsula Country Club where Stroud plays his second round.

Brian Gay and Scott Langley share the first-day lead with a 7-under-par 64s
at Monterey Peninsula. Among those tied at 65 were Phil Mickelson and Jason Day. They also played at MP. So did Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth who are at 66.

After an up-and-down front nine featuring three birdies and two bogeys, and a third bogey after he drove into trouble on 10, Stroud reeled off birdies at 12 (17 feet), 13 (17 feet) and 14 (20 inches to move up the leaderboard.

His bid for four-in-a row missed by seven inches from 14 feet on 15, and a 36 footer missed by one inch on 17. Stroud did, however, roll in a couple of bombs on the front, burying birdies from 27-6 on No. 5 and from 25-2 on No. 9.

The biggest challenge on Friday is expected to be the weather, with rain chances listed at 100 percent, high winds and temperatures in the mid 50s.