PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- It took two days, one delay because of wind and one postponement because of rain, but they finally squeezed in the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Thursday's wind-blown, rained-out part of a round was a wild trip, but Friday's completion of the first 18 holes happened under different conditions.
''Less wind, no rain,'' David Duval said.
He was smiling when he said it, which of course was because he had tied for the lead with Notah Begay and Vijay Singh, a trio with matching six-under-par 66s at Poppy Hills.
Vijay Singh reacts to missing a birdie putt on the third hole.
Tiger Woods turned in a 68, despite wrecking one of his clubs, at Poppy Hills.
It wasn't as though Woods wrapped it around a tree in anger or snapped it over his knee in disgust. But somehow, the club head flew off the shaft of Woods' driver and sailed about 60 yards down the 16th fairway.
For Woods, it was a first -- just when you had to believe there were no more firsts left for him.
''I'm not sure why it broke, but it was a weird feeling,'' Woods said. ''I had to grab a club walking down the fairway just to get the feeling of having a club head. I wanted to get rid of that strange feeling in my hands before the next shot.''
Anyway, Woods didn't need his driver on the green, where he made a birdie. He also didn't need his driver to birdie the par-3 17th, where he went to four under.
But at the par-5 18th, Woods could have used his driver. Instead, he hit two consecutive 3-woods and made par on what might have been a birdie hole for him.
Woods said he had another driver in his car and would have been allowed to get it, but there clearly was no time for that. Woods even asked officials if he could borrow playing partner Jerry Chang's driver, but was turned down.
Lee Janzen, Grant Waite and Steve Scott are tied with Woods at four under, one shot ahead of a large group led by Jean Van de Velde of tragi-comic British Open fame, and last week's winner, Tom Lehman.
It was a mostly chilly, mostly gray day on the courses here on the Monterey Peninsula, where the sun might have been in short supply, but not the mud.
If the forecasters are correct in their gloomy assessment, Friday's weather conditions are going to be remembered as nearly picture perfect in comparison to what's coming.
Two winter storms are bearing down on the Central California coast with nothing between them and the AT&T tournament except a few cypress trees. There are already rumblings that if weather cuts the event to fewer than the 54 holes necessary for it to be an official event, it might be completed the week after the International in early August. Two years ago, the tournament was shortened to 54 holes and the final round wasn't completed until mid-August, after the PGA Championship.
As for Begay, the best that could happen for him would be some more scores over the weekend like the one he came up with Friday. That would take his mind off his DUI conviction and the one-week jail term that awaits him, beginning Feb. 28.
Begay, who backed his car into another vehicle in the parking lot of a bar in Albuquerque three weeks ago, was sentenced to a year in jail, all but a week of which was suspended.
Begay said there really was no indication that he was up to something special.
''With everything that has been going on in my personal life, it's been difficult to get back to focusing on golf,'' he said.
''From Day 1, I haven't tried to hide anything or made any excuses for what happened. I just made a mistake and I've been trying to do the right thing ever since.''
Duval needed only eight holes to finish the round he had begun Thursday and birdied two of them. He was pleased to play at Poppy Hills, which is probably the least vulnerable to wind of the three courses.
For Saturday's second round, weather permitting, Duval will play Spyglass Hill. Like most everyone else, he was keeping a close watch on the darkening skies and hoping it wouldn't pour overnight.
In any event, Duval has a theory of how to play this tournament.
''There are trying conditions as usual here, but that's what you come to expect,'' he said. ''I just keep on playing. You do the best you can.''
And always pack your umbrella.
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