Los Angeles - Charley Hoffman fired nine
birdies in an eight-under par 64 on Thursday to grab a one-shot lead after the
first round of the Houston Open over a quartet of players that included Dustin
Hoffman's 64 was one stroke shy of the
Tournament Course record at the Golf Club of Houston held by five players.
He opened with a birdie at the 10th, and
added birdies at 13 and 14 -- adding a burst of four straight birdies from the
first through fourth holes.
"Hit it great," said Hoffman, who
won the most recent of his three PGA Tour titles in 2014. "Hit a lot of
fairways, hit a ton of greens, gave myself a bunch of chances and luckily
enough a few went in today."
Johnson, a nine-time winner on the PGA
Tour, powered into contention with a 10-footer for eagle at his penultimate
hole, the par-five eighth and a birdie at the last, where he holed a long one
from the fringe.
Johnson was tied for second with fellow
Americans Roberto Castro, Scott Brown and Morgan Hoffmann.
Another four Americans were tied on 66:
Johnson Wagner, Justin Hicks, Chez Reavie and Scott Pinckney.
"Overall, it was a great day,"
Johnson said after a round that included seven birdies total.
"I made just two bogeys and one of
them was a mud ball on five."
"Then I had a penalty shot on the
par-five 13th. Other than that, I felt like I played really solid today and
holed some nice putts," he said.
World number two Jordan Spieth, trying to
build momentum heading into his Masters title defence next week, carded a 67
that left him tied for 10th.
Five-time major winner Phil Mickelson
opened with a 69.
Defending champion JB Holmes, who won last
year in a playoff with Spieth and Wagner, withdrew from the tournament on
Wednesday with a shoulder injury. He was replaced in Thursday's group with
Spieth and Patrick Reed by Luke List, who carded a 68.
Leading first-round scores on Thursday in the US PGA Tour Houston Open (USA unless noted, par 72):
64 - Charley Hoffman
65 - Dustin Johnson, Roberto Castro, Scott Brown, Morgan Hoffmann
66 - Johnson Wagner, Justin Hicks, Chez Reavie, Scott Pinckney
- Jonas Blixt (SWE), Steve Marino, Graham DeLaet (CAN), Jamie Lovemark,
Kim Whee (KOR), Davis Love, Brian Harman, Jordan Spieth, Daniel Berger,
Jon Curran, Andrew Loupe
68 - Scott Piercy, Harris English, Nick
Taylor (CAN) Tony Finau, Martin Laird (SCO), Chad Collins, Michael Kim,
Bernd Wiesberger (AUT), Ben Martin, Luke List, Sean O'Hair