“That was a no-brainer. We were going to finish or else Jake was going to kill me,” Spieth said of his amateur partner, country singer Jake Owen. “So that’s good.”
Dustin Johnson, a two-time winner at Pebble Beach, played with Wayne Gretzky, whom many refer to as the “Great One.” Johnson soon will call him “Dad,” when he marries Gretzky’s daughter. Johnson had one shot hit off the pin and carom some 40 yards back into the fairway. He chipped that in for a birdie on his way to a 68.
Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley shot a 67 at Pebble Beach. Graeme McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champion at Pebble, opened with a 71 at Spyglass Hill.
Defending champion Brandt Snedeker had a 72 at Spyglass Hill.
No one was more thrilled than Loupe, who spoke with great patience about what he called a “rough start” to his rookie season.
“I really just stick to the plan and I know that my group is good. I have 100 percent trust in my swing coach, my family, my trainer,” he said. “I guess 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.’ 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.”