Gareth Bale is in a strong position after round one of his PGA Tour debut at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
The former Wales captain, 33, and professional partner Joseph Bramlett closed with a seven-under-par 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.
Britain’s Harry Hall (64) is tied-second.
A highlight of former Real Madrid forward Bale’s round was a recovery shot off a path to save par on the second hole.
“It was a great shot,” said Bale, who retired from football on 9 January.
“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.”
Bale, who has a two handicap, announced his retirement from football shortly after leading Wales at the World Cup finals in Qatar.
He joins actor Bill Murray, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, actor Jason Bateman and rapper Mackelmore among the 156 amateurs taking part in the competition, which runs until 5 February.
Top professionals taking part include England’s US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick and former major champion Justin Rose.
Despite playing in front of big crowds during a glittering playing career that included five Champions League titles with Real Madrid, Bale admitted to being nervous 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.”
The first three rounds take place over three courses, including Pebble Beach, Monterey Peninsula and Spyglass Hill. The top 25 pro-am pairings in the better ball format will go through to play in the final round on the Pebble Beach Links Course.