Former Wales and Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale admits he had first-tee nerves on his debut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am.
The 33-year-old, who announced his retirement from football last month, is a two-handicapper and his love of golf while playing for the LaLiga giants was well documented.
But even he felt the pressure as he made his first appearance at the PGA Tour event, starting at the Spyglass Hill course.
“I think every amateur will tell you that. Even if we are used to playing in front of 80,000 or more on live TV it’s a completely different sport,” he said after his round.
“It’s good experience, but luckily, I hit one of my best shots down the first fairway.”
Even better was to follow at the second where he produced a great par save from the greenside cart path, bumping a chip up to three feet.
“I am more worried how I was there in the first place but I guess a lot of amateurs find themselves out of position,” Bale added.
“It was a great shot, I was just trying to play it into the bank and hope for the best like most amateurs do. It was nice to see it roll up nice and close.
“He (playing partner Joseph Bramlett) was pretty much in for par, so I was like, ‘I’ll pick it up’, but he made me putt it as he was like, ‘It will be one of the greatest up and downs’.”
Bale and Bramlett finished a combined seven-under-par 65.
A stellar eagle on the par-five 16th helped England’s Harry Hall to equal-second place behind American Hank Lebioda after the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am.
Hall’s eagle capped off a round that also featured seven birdies and two bogeys en route to a score of seven-under 64.
Along with the American duo of Kurt Kitayama and Chad Ramey, Hall sits one shot behind Lebioda, whose superb round of 63 included just one bogey in a near-flawless effort.