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
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
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.