By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Wednesday night at a reception hosted by CBS, Scott Langley showed he had the gift of gab as he sparred with Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo in an informal Q&A session designed to spotlight some of the PGA TOUR's best young players.
And in Thursday's first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Langley put those physical talents on full display as he shot a 65 on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club that left him one stroke off the lead.
"Golf is such a funny game," the 23-year-old said. "I didn't have a ton of expectations coming into today. But I just got out there and got off to kind of a slow start to be honest but kind of picked it up really quickly."
Indeed. The PGA TOUR rookie bogeyed the second hole from a "funky stance" beside the fairway bunker but righted the ship and made seven birdies in his next 14 holes to briefly share the lead. He chose the wrong club at the 17th hole, though, opting for a 4-wood instead of the 7-wood or driver he feels most comfortable with there, found the rough and had to punch out on the way to a closing bogey.
"But I had a lot of good and that's what I take from today, seven birdies," Langley said. "I putted very well. I just, you know, besides the two mistakes, hit the ball very well for the most part."
Langley may be a rookie but he is well-acquainted with these scenic courses on the California coast. He's been here so much he even has a favorite restaurant over on the Monterey wharf where the owner, who is an avid golfer, greets him with a bag of red tees.
Langley's love affair with golf on the Monterey Peninsula essentially began when he teamed with Dana Quigley to win the pro-junior division of The First Tee Open in 2006 when he was 17 and Pebble Beach and Del Monte Country Club were in the rotation. He returned to tie for 16th at the 2010 U.S. Open.
Langley then became the first former participant of The First Tee to earn his TOUR card last year when he tied for 17th at q-school. He played in last year's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on a sponsor's exemption and missed the cut -- but Langley appears to be making up for lost time this week.
"I came here when I was young and I was so amazed at how beautiful this place is," Langley said. "You get distracted a little bit by the views. I remember when I was younger, I came here and played and I was so nervous on 7 and 17, these iconic holes of Pebble Beach.
"And I feel differently now. I feel more comfortable here, more at ease. I've had good results here so maybe that helps my confidence a little bit."