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Loupe finally gets a score he can savor

PEBBLE BEACH, California -- Andrew Loupe had to wait three hours to tee off at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am because of rain on Thursday, and then he played bogey-free for an 8-under 63.

Rain soaked the area in the morning and with puddles quickly forming on the greens, play had to be called off at the three courses hosting the tournament: the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula, Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill.

Monterey Peninsula played the easiest, and Loupe took advantage. He missed only one fairway and only two of his birdies were over 10 feet.

The 25-year-old has not made the cut in five starts his rookie season. Loupe might not even have a PGA Tour card except for his tie for sixth in the last event of the Web.com Tour Finals. He had missed the cut in his previous three “Finals” event.

Stuart Appleby, Jim Renner, Richard Lee and Scott Gardiner had 65s at Monterey Peninsula. Phil Mickelson, a four-time champion, was at 5-under par through 15 holes when the round was stopped because of darkness.

Pebble Beach played the toughest. Jimmy Walker, already a two-time winner this season, got up-and-down for birdie on the 18th for a 66, the best score there.

Jordan Spieth, playing with country singer Jake Owen, had the best round at Spyglass Hill at 67. He picked up birdies on all but one of the par 5s.

Dustin Johnson, a two-time winner of this event, had a 68 at Spyglass Hill playing with his future father-in-law, ice hockey great Wayne Gretzky.

“More happy with the fact he was 4 under today and it's a tough course,” Gretzky said. “I'm here for fun. He's here for work.”

Graeme McDowell, back at Pebble Beach for the first time since he won the 2010 U.S. Open, opened with a 71 at Spyglass Hill. He has to wait until Saturday to play Pebble Beach with his father, Kenny.

Defending champion Brandt Snedeker had a 72 at Spyglass Hill.

Before Thursday, Loupe had experienced a rugged start to life on the PGA Tour, with only one round out of 11 being under par, and missing the cut five times.

“When you're in those ruts, I just kept telling myself, 'You're supposed to be here, you're going to play good, just keep playing,'” Loupe said. “This is just one round, guys, but I feel good.

“I did miss a few cuts coming into Sawgrass and played good,” he said of the week that secured his card in the Web.com finals. “And I just knew that I could do it again. Would I like to play more consistently? Yes. But I just want to keep this rolling.”

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