Notes: Bean astonished by juniors, Roberts reunited

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Condon/PGA TOUR
A view of the 18th green at Pebble Beach after fog rolled in for the third time and suspended play for the day.
August 29, 2008
Lauren Deason, PGATOUR.COM Editorial Coordinator

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Because of extensive fog late on Friday afternoon, the first round won't be in the record books until Saturday morning at the 2008 Walmart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.

At 6:13 p.m. PT, play was suspended for the day at Pebble Beach Golf Links, while the first round at Del Monte was completed.

Check out news and notes from the first round. ROBERTS REUNITED WITH JUNIOR Unless the junior golfers are returning to the Walmart First Tee Open for second or third year, most of the pros and kids meet for the first time when they learn that they are paired together.

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Not Loren Roberts and his teammate Clifton Jordon, who both live in Memphis, Tenn., though Roberts originally hails from nearby San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Roberts' daughter is on the cheerleading squad at the local girls' school in their town while Jordon attends the boys' equivalent and plays football. At the Stanford St. Jude Championship earlier this year, Roberts and his daughter were spectators and ran into Jordon.

"Since she's a cheerleader and he played football last year, they knew each other socially. I'd heard of him but she introduced me to him there," Roberts said.

The tournament tries to pair golfers with kids from their local First Tee chapters. In this case, the pairing seems to have worked well, as the Roberts/Jordon duo is currently tied for seventh in the team competition. PEBBLE IS SUPPOSED TO BE HARD??

Andy Bean has played at Pebble Beach Golf Links for over 30 years so he knows which holes can eat his lunch.

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Of the five players tied for the lead, Bean is the only one who played at Pebble Beach on Friday. The rest shot their 66s at Del Monte, while Bean tamed the foggy venue at Pebble Beach. But that tricky eighth hole got him tripped him up on Friday. He made par but that was the only place he missed the green all day.

His junior partner, Ericka Schneider, made a 16-footer for birdie there and showed him up.

"I had a young lady last year, dang if she didn't birdie No. 8 twice. And I'm sitting there going, you've got to be kidding me. I'm just trying to make par on the hole," Bean said. "She birdied it twice, Erica birdied it today. I'm thinking my goodness. It was a hard hole but the good part about it is they don't know they're hard out here. They haven't been there enough."

He said most of the kids are intimidated by the greens at Pebble Beach but tend to rip it off the tee and fire at the flags. If Bean could pass along a few words of advice, they would be ones that come from experience.

"You have to learn to make birdies to score but you also have to learn to keep them," he said. "The best text message I ever got came from a buddy I go fishing with all the time. He said, 'Andy, golf is not like your fishing. I know you catch and release when you are fishing. But golf, you are supposed to keep your birdies.' Last week I was making birdies and letting them go as quick as I made them.

"Hopefully I can keep most of them this week and things will turn out good." A NEW WAY TO PUTT

Gary McCord unveiled a unique putting method at the 3M Championship several weeks ago. He won't be putting it into practice this week at Pebble Beach but he does think it's a revolutionary idea.

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Known as face-on putting (or FOP), the idea is that a golfer stands facing the hole, with the putter on the right side of the body. Using a 52-inch putter and this binocular vision (both eyes looking at the target), McCord "reduced his range of motion in all of the joints by a third and isolated putting to just one movement in the body".

He was writing an article for "Golf Digest" about the method and wanted to test it under competition.

"I practiced about three weeks really hard to get ready. I putted really bad but I'm not going to blame it on that because, when you go from the side your whole life to facing, with a lengthy putter it was 52 inches long, it was really bizarre," McCord said. "If people started off putting this way when they were young, they could get good. They could really get good.

"I would recommend it for people, if they get the yips really bad, to try it."

McCord thought he invented the method. He knew Vinny Del Negro, now the coach of the Chicago Bulls, and McCord was given an opportunity to try to help NBA star Shaquille O'Neal with his free-throw shooting by changing his method.

"I was explaining it (the method) to him and thought, you know, we should putt that way too. So that's how it got started," McCord said. "Then I found out they're already doing this. Dr. Cook wrote a chapter in a book about it, there's a website devoted to this, there's unbelievable stuff on YouTube with this. I got on the website and looked and I was way behind the curve."

The book is "Golf's Sacred Journey", a popular inspirational book among golfers by Dr. David Cook. In it, a young golfer is shown this unique putting method by a group of men who toss quarters into cups. That act, along with many normal sports actions like bowling and free throws, mimic the face-on putting motion and are more intuitive than the sideways putting stroke.

Putting guru Dave Pelz even mentioned the method in his "Putting Bible" book.

"He said the best putter he's ever seen, including Tiger and Phil, putted this way. He doesn't know who the guy is but he wrote it in his putting bible. He didn't know his name," McCord said. "The guy just disappeared in the night. Pelz said he's the best he's ever seen." BLOG: KRESOCK ON HER WEEK AT PEBBLE BEACH

Elizabeth Kresock, a 17-year-old from The First Tee of Denver, is participating in the Walmart First Tee Open for the second year. The 5-handicap golfer began playing at age 10 and has volunteered with The First Tee for five years and been a member for four years. She will share her experiences from each round of this week's event.

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I'm playing with Mark Wiebe, who's also from Denver, so I'm really excited. We met for the first time at the "Legends and Leaders" dinner on Wednesday night, where I also met Tom Watson, Tom Kite, Fred Funk, Loren Roberts and Gary McCord. Everyone was so nice and genuinely happy to be here.

At the dinner we had nine different people speak on the nine core values. The last person, Mr. Nevins, lost both legs in Iraq. It was a really emotional experience, especially to hear how other people outside the golf world were able to persevere. The food was awesome! Kraft provided it for us and the dinner took place at the Pebble Beach Tennis Club, where we had gorgeous views of the sixth hole at Pebble Beach and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

Last night, One Republic put on a concert on the 18th green. I know all of their songs by heart so I was able to sing along. I think it was really fun for everyone. Last year, I played in the Coca-Cola Challenge on Thursday but this year Aaron Guereca, the other person here from my First Tee chapter, played instead. That was really cool.

To read the remainder of this blog, click here.

BLOG: JARO DISCUSSES HIS FIRST ROUND

Jan Jaro is a sophomore from The First Tee in Jacksonville, Fla. The accomplished golfer returns to Pebble Beach after playing in this event in 2007. Jaro will be blogging about his time with the pros and his friends this week.

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This is my second year at the Walmart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach. Last year I played with Nick Price and this year I'm paired with Leonard Thompson (we both live in Jacksonville).

We had a rough day today over at Del Monte. I think Leonard shot 74. He had rotator cuff surgery last year, so he's still a little shaky. We started off solidly but didn't finish too well. I'm currently tied for 22nd after a first-round 68 in the "gross best ball" tournament that the juniors and amateurs play. I missed a lot of putts today but there's always tomorrow. It's been a frustrating day and, honestly, I kind of want to forget the round right now.

I was definitely looking forward to coming back this year. I really wanted to win and focused on trying to win. I'm a little far out right now so I'm just trying to make the cut.

To read the remainder of his blog, click here.

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