By Carl Markham, PA
Former Wales and Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale admits he had first-tee nerves on his debut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am.
The 33-year-old, who announced his retirement from football last month, is a two-handicapper and his love of golf while playing for the LaLiga giants was well documented.
But even he felt the pressure as he made his first appearance at the PGA Tour event, starting at the Spyglass Hill course.
“I think every amateur will tell you that. Even if we are used to playing in front of 80,000 or more on live TV it’s a completely different sport,” he said after his round.
“It’s good experience but luckily I hit one of my best shots down the first fairway.”
Multi-sport athlete ⚽️
The cart path is no problem @GarethBale11. pic.twitter.com/7EOuM3IE4M
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 2, 2023
Even better was to follow at the second where he produced a great par save from the greenside cart path, bumping a chip up to three feet.
“I am more worried how I was there in the first place but I guess a lot of amateurs find themselves out of position,” Bale added.
“It was a great shot, I was just trying to play it into the bank and hope for the best like most amateurs do. It was nice to see it roll up nice and close.
“He (playing partner Joseph Bramlett) was pretty much in for par so I was like ‘I’ll pick it up’ but he made me putt it as he was like ‘It will be one of the greatest up and downs’.”
Bale and Bramlett finished a combined seven-under-par 65.