Gareth Bale: Wales’ retired captain has a strong first round in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Gareth Bale is in good shape after the first round of his PGA Tour debut at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

The former Real Madrid midfielder, 33, and professional partner Joseph Bramlett got things started on the Spyglass Hill course with a seven-under-par 65.

A recovery shot off a path to save par on the second hole was a highlight of the retired Wales football captain’s round.

“It was a great shot,” said Bale, who announced his retirement from football on January 9.

“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 so neatly. I also did a good job finishing it. I don’t have much to say.

Bale announced his retirement from football shortly after leading Wales to the World Cup finals in Qatar.

Among the 156 amateurs competing in the competition are actor Bill Murray, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, actor Jason Bateman, and rapper Mackelmore.

Among those competing are England’s US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick and former major champion Justin Rose.

Despite his glittering playing career, which included five Champions League titles with Real Madrid, Bale admitted to being nervous on the first tee.

“I believe every amateur will tell you that,” he explained. “Even though we’re used to playing in front of 80,000 or more people on live TV, it’s a completely different sport.

“It’s a good learning experience, but I hit one of my best shots down the first fairway.”

The first three rounds are held on three distinct courses: Pebble Beach, Monterey Peninsula, and Spyglass Hill. The top 25 better ball pro-am pairings will advance to the final round on the Pebble Beach Links Course.

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