Shane conquers Pebble Beach winds; Seamus 70, Padraig 74
Shane Lowry was in high spirits at Pebble Beach. 

Shane Lowry was in high spirits at Pebble Beach. 

He might have bogeyed the last but Shane Lowry was a happy man after he defied West of Ireland style wind and rain to open with a two under 70 in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Pádraig Harrington battled hard to play the last eight holes alongside Lowry and their amateur partners Dermot Desmond and Gerry McManus in two-under for a 74.

At nearby Spyglass Hill,  where Rick Lamb, Seung-Yul Noh and Joel Dahmen all shot four-under 68s to take the clubhouse lead, West Waterford's Seamus Power signed for a super 70 to share eighth place with the likes of Lowry and the world No 1 Jason Day (70 at Monterey Peninsula)

Little wonder the Offaly man wore a broad smile after he drove the ball well and made six birdies and overcame south-east winds gusting up to 30 mph across Pebble Beach Golf Links before play was finally suspended due to inclement weather.

"If I was at home and the weather was like this, I wouldn't play golf," said Lowry, who made two birdies and two bogeys to turn in level par before following a bogey at the 10th with a purple patch of birdies.

"I just know how to deal with these conditions," he said after making four birdies in five holes from the 11th before steering his approach right and away from the seething Pacific at the 18th, leaving himself an awkard pitch.

Even though his third scuttled through the back of the green from where he failed to get up and down for his par,  he wasn't complaining too loudly after holing 108-feet of putts in Pebble Beach's soft and bumpy poa annua greens.

After opening up with a 30 footer for birdie, he erased the memory of a three-putt bogey six at the second by knocking in another six putts of between five and 18 feet.

"It is obviously very tough," Lowry said after his 28-putt round. "There is a three-club wind out there anyway. It was one of those days where you have to batten down the hatches and try and make pars and take your chances when they come, and that's what I did today. 

"Eighteen was tough because I had a delicate little chip shot and the wind was gusting right behind me. You take the club back and the wind just blows you all over the place. 

"I hit that one too hard, so it was disappointing to bogey 18. But I did hole a couple of putts out there and the greens are a little bit bumpy with them being so soft. So it is hard to hole putts, and I was lucky I holed a few today. I am looking forward to the rest of the week now."

It's little wonder after he came through a tough stretch around the turn with just two bogeys, then started making birdies with ease.

"Eight wasn't too bad but nine, I hit driver, five wood and came up 20 yards short of the green. Then on 10, I hit driver and a five-iron from the rough and I was 20 yards short of the green as well. I made two great pars, but that's what you have to do on days like today. 

"We were lucky we were off really early. It was windy for most of the day, but it is tough out there now. I am very happy to be sitting here on two under and I going to put my feet up for the day and see what I can do tomorrow."

On his purple patch of four birdies in five holes from the 11th, Lowry beamed: "I holed a nice putt on 11 (after an 82-yard wedge to 19 inches) and then hit a great shot into 12 and holed a 15 footer. On [the par-five] 14th I hit a monster tee shot [342 yards], and I was only going in with a four iron. 

"I only needed a five but I managed to get up and down [for birdie]. Then on 15, it was a three-wood and a wedge, and I managed to hit it to 15 feet and holed that.  

"I was very disappointed to bogey the last. I only had 230 front for my second shot, and with the wind whipping off the sea, it was so hard not to miss my second shot right, and I just got a bit unfortunate where I had to pitch from. But I am very happy with the score and looking forward to tomorrow."

On the conditions, he echoed the sentiments of Harrington, who knows how to play in the wind and rain but dislikes it, like most golfers.

"People say you must love this weather when you come over here. I don't like it at all, but I know how to do it," Lowry said. "That's just how it is. I grew up playing in this and give me a couple of days in the wind, and I know how to do it. 

"It is just something I am comfortable with. It is a good challenge, and it was particularly enjoyable today because I shot a good score. Some days are tougher than others." 

Harrington also knows how to win in wind and rain but while he did not complain in the build-up about the neck injury that contributed to him missing the cut in San Diego and Phoenix, he started slowly and struggled to salvage a decent round.

After hitting his tee shot less than 200 yards into the rough at the first to open with a bogey, he didn't birdie the par-five second and then bogeyed the third.

Bogeys at the ninth and 10th left him four over par and facing a gruelling back nine.

Pádraig Harrington watches as his tee shot comes up 15 yards short of the green at the 17th

Pádraig Harrington watches as his tee shot comes up 15 yards short of the green at the 17th

But in typical Harrington fashion, he dug deep and single-putted the last four greens, making an 11-footer for birdie at the 15th before following chip and putt pars at the 16th and 17th with a neat up-and-down from 36 yards for birdie at the 18th.

Power, who was playing with Calera Capital's Managing Partner, James Farrell, opposite Mark Anderson and Insulate America's President and CEO, David Beam, had four birdies and two bogeys in his 70.

According to the PGA Tour, he hit 15 greens in regulation and while he birdied the first, second, seventh and 11th, his bogeys at the fifth and eighth were three-putts.