Iwata three shots off pace at Pebble Beach

Kyodo, AP

Hiroshi Iwata fired a solid round of 5-under-par 71 to sit three shots off the lead after the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Thursday.

Iwata, the lone Japanese representative following the late withdrawal of Ryo Ishikawa, rolled in seven birdies against two bogeys at the par-71 Monterey Peninsula Country Club for a share of 12th spot.

Chez Reavie of the United States took the lead after opening with a 63 at Monterey Peninsula, one of three courses being used for this week’s event.

Ishikawa pulled out on Wednesday due to lower back issues that hampered him at last week’s Phoenix Open.

Hideki Matsuyama, who defeated American Rickie Fowler in a four-hole playoff to claim his second PGA Tour win at the Phoenix Open, is skipping the tournament.

Reavie enjoyed the pure weather almost as much as he enjoyed watching putts go in. Golf has been a grind for Reavie since he missed nearly all of 2014 because of surgery on his left wrist and had to return to the Web.com Tour Finals last year just to get his PGA Tour card back.

“Even on days I putt well, I still don’t make as many putts as I made today,” Reavie said.

Jordan Spieth, the No. 1 player in the world, chipped poorly by his standards and three times failed to get up-and-down for birdies on the par 5s at Spyglass Hill. He opened with a 71, along with PGA champion Jason Day. Dustin Johnson had a 70 at Spyglass, while Bubba Watson had a 73. Patrick Reed had a 72.