Rickie Fowler fires 64 to claim first-round lead at Houston Open

01 April, 2017, 01:48 | Author: Felix Jensen

The American ended his day in style, very almost grabbing a hole-in-one at the 230-yard par-three ninth, his ball rolling past the edge of the cup before settling five feet away, setting up a birdie.

Fowler had a one-shot buffer from South Korea's Sung Kang, while there was a three-way tie for third at six-under between Americans Stewart Cink and Kyle Stanley and Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas. Vaughn Taylor and Keegan Bradley both shot 67s to sit closest to Fowler.

Wednesday's deluge made muddy balls an ongoing problem for the Shell Houston Open golfers during Thursday's first round.

He finished equal 18th at last year's US Open in his only major start, but hasn't posted a victory since the 2013 Korean Open.

Kang carded seven birdies and an eagle at the Golf Club of Houston to add a flawless 63 to his opening 65 and set a new 36-hole tournament record on 16 under par.

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"So it was nice to have the week off to kind of relax, recharge a bit, and I love playing here". "If the mud was kind of kicking in, it ended up being a good shot".

"I've probably played it 100 times now it's the one course I continually take notes and I'd rather lose my passport than my Augusta yardage book!" The 29-year-old non-winner on the PGA Tour needed just 27 putts to navigate the tough greens here.

"The reason last week that I wanted to be off (was to) get some downtime rest, spend time with friends", the 28-year-old told PGA Tour Live.

"It was a great round - from the beginning all the way to the end, I felt like I had a great process going".

Jordan Spieth is among the biggest names in the field, and he enjoyed a solid start with a three-under 69. "Playing here really helps me to get sharp so that I don't have a day like this next Thursday". While Li opened with a 71, Wie shot a 4-under 68 to move one stroke behind leader Karine Icher of France before 35-mph winds shortened the opening day of competition at the first major of the year.

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