- Bale makes PGA Tour debut
- Welshman makes strong start
- Tied in 18th after first round
WHAT HAPPENED? After announcing his retirement from football in January, Bale has turned his attentions to golf and made his debut on the PGA tour at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The former Wales captain did not disappoint either, putting in a strong round with professional partner Joseph Bramlett.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Bale and Bramlett completed their first round with a seven-under-par 65 to end the day tied in 18th place on the leaderboard. The USA's Hank Lebioda leads the way so far on the pro leaderboard after shooting an eight-under-par 63.
WHAT THEY SAID: Bale knows all about the big stages, having won five Champions League titles during his football career, but still admitted to some anxiety before he teed off.
"I think every amateur will tell you they are out of their comfort zone, even though we are used to playing in front of 80,000 or more live on TV. It is a completely different sport," he told Sky Sports. "It is something that is just different and it is a cool experience, and I am lucky I hit one of my best shots down the first fairway which was nice."
DID YOU KNOW? The former Real Madrid man is not the only familiar face taking part. Actors Jason Bateman and Bill Murray are some of the 156 amateurs involved along with Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The competition runs until February 5 and takes place over three courses: Pebble Beach, Monterey Peninsula and Spyglass Hill.
WHAT NEXT? The tournament continues throughout the week, with the top 25 pro-am pairings going through to play in the final round.