Watch Gareth Bale’s lucky chip at California golf tournament
Gareth Bale impressed on his PGA Tour debut on Thursday, with a stunning shot off a cart path to save par.
Bale, who has a handicap of two, was appearing at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California, a tournament at which professional golfers play alongside celebrities.
The highlight of Bale’s first round on Thursday came on the second hole when he chipped to within three feet of the hole, albeit via a huge deflection.
“It was a great shot,” former Wales captain said. “I tried to play it into the bank and hope for the best, as all amateur golfers would.
“It was nice to see it roll up nice and close. I finished it off nicely as well. I can’t really say much more.”
The Welshman, who retired from football suddenly last month, may have won five Champions League titles and La Liga three times during his 17-year football career but admitted he still had to deal with nerves on the first tee.
“I think every amateur will tell you that,” he said. “Even if we are used to playing in front of 80,000 or more on live TV it’s a completely different sport.
“It’s a good experience but luckily I hit one of my best shots down the first fairway.”
He and pro partner Joseph Bramlett, the American golf professional, closed with a seven-under 65 to end tied 18th on the amateur leaderboard at the Spyglass Hill course.
American Hank Lebioda shot an eight-under-par 63 to lead the pro leaderboard while Britain’s Harry Hall (64) is tied-second.
Bale, who became a global ambassador for the Royal and Ancient R&A in 2022, joined actor Bill Murray, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and rapper Mackelmore among the 156 amateurs taking part in the competition.
On his round with Bramlett, Bale said: “We met about a year ago and we have just been speaking over the year.
“I said to him last week, let’s prepare for this week. He had a great week last week and what a player.
“He is a world-class player. Just watching these players play, you can learn things and how they go about their business and how they do their process.”