While a PGA tournament is rarely won in the first round, there is something to be said about a player setting the tone for himself. Rickie Fowler did just that after an 8-under 64 performance on Thursday at the Shell Houston Open.
Fowler collected eight birdies on the day, being pretty consistent throughout a bogey-free opening round. He did this despite unfavorable damp and muddy conditions. Fowler’s 64 is the best score he’s gotten in six Houston Opens he’s played in.
“I felt like I got some good breaks with having mud on the same side as where the trouble was and that I could kind of keep it fairly conservative,” Fowler said. “If the mud was kind of kicking in, it ended up being a good shot.”
Fowler was so good on Thursday that his furthest birdie putt was from about 15 feet on the par-3 14th. His second longest was from about 10 feet on the 16th.
Even so, Fowler only leads by one shot over Sung Kang who also had eight birdies, including four in a row on the front nine. He bogeyed the 18th after missing a 4-putt from about five feet away that left him just 13 inches shy of the hole.
Stewart Cink, Jhonattan Vegas, and Kyle Stanley are all right near the top of the leaderboard after they all shot a 6-under 66 Round one.
h/t: pgatour.com, espn.com