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Pebble Beach: Ken Duke early leader; Tiger Woods in hunt

KenKen Duke, a 43-year-old veteran who has been on and off the PGA Tour since 1996, shot an eight-under par 64 Thursday and became the first leader in the club house at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am during Thursday's first round.

Tiger Woods, playing his first PGA Tour event of this season, is three-under par through 13 holes at Spyglass Hills. Woods had gotten to four-under before he bogeyed the par-four 13th.

Duke had six birdies and an eagle on the back nine at the Pebble Beach layout for a course-record 28. Duke, from Hope, Ark., had scoliosis so badly as a child that he needed a metal rod put in his back to fix the 51% curvature. Duke hasn't won a PGA Tour event in his career.

Even Duke was dismayed at his total round. He was even par after the front nine and then, for no reason he could figure out, Duke only made one par on the back nine. The rest were better.

"Made about a 15-foot birdie on 10. Then hit it probably about 6 feet on 12, made it. Hit the pin on 13 and came back about 6, 7 feet, made that. Then made about a 15-, 16-footer on 14; same thing on 15; 16-footer on 14. Same thing on 15, probably about a 12-footer, something like that, then the eagle on 16 and about a 12-or-so-footer on the last," Duke said. It was the par-three 17th hole that Duke parred or he would have had a 27.

Duke's clubhouse lead might not last long though.

Danny Lee, who is through 16 holes on Pebble Beach, and Charlie Wi, who is through 15 holes at Monterey, are both nine-under.

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-- Diane Pucin in Pebble Beach, Calif.

Photo: Ken Duke. Credit: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press.

 
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