PGA Tour

Steele surging at rain-hit San Antonio

2016-04-22 06:43
Brendan Steele (AFP)

Los Angeles - Brendan Steele's push for the first round lead in the rain-hit Valero Texas Open was halted by darkness on Thursday, leaving Charley Hoffman with the clubhouse lead.

On a day that saw inclement weather halt play for about three and a half hours, Hoffman made it safely into the clubhouse with a six-under par-66.

Steele, the 2011 winner, had surged past Hoffman to the top of the leaderboard with eight birdies in 13 holes without a bogey before darkness fell.

Steele will be one of 72 golfers returning to complete the first round on Friday morning before teeing off for the second round.

Hoffman had seven birdies and a bogey.

He hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation despite finding the fairway on only eight of his drives and needed only 26 putts.

Two of Hoffman's birdie putts were from inside five feet, the longest from 22 feet.

"Six under par is always good on this golf course, or any golf course," Hoffman said. "I tend to play well here, and hopefully I can keep it going and have a chance on Sunday.

Hoffman is looking for a fourth PGA Tour title, and his first since the OHL Classic at Mayakoba last year.

He led after the second round of the Shell Houston Open three weeks ago, but faded to a tie for 33rd after playing the last two rounds in six-over.

"I've been close the last month or so, and I've got to put four good rounds together instead of three," Hoffman said. "You don't win golf tournaments with three good rounds."

Steele teed off on 10 on the Oaks course at TPC San Antonio and birdied his first three holes.

After another birdie at 14, he strung together four birdies in a row at 18, one, two and three.

Stuart Appleby of Australia and Peter Malnati shared third place, both in the clubhouse on five-under 67.

Steve Flesch signed for a four-under 68 while Patrick Reed and Freddy Jacobson of Sweden were both four-under on the back nine when play was halted.

Two-time winner Zach Johnson, seeking his first victory since last year's Open Championship, was among a group of players at three-under 69.

Defending champion Jimmy Walker struggled to a three-over 75.

Read more on:    brendan steele  |  golf

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