Shell Houston Open. Two at the Top. April 04 2014
Bill Hass / Getty Images
Bill Hass and Charley Hoffman top the leaderboard at the Shell Houston Open after completing first rounds of -7 under par 65's, Charley was bogey free.
Bill made six birdies, one eagle and a single bogey, and thinks he is playing OK;
" I feel like I’m hanging around, playing okay, I certainly haven’t knocked on the door on Sunday quite yet. But I feel like I’m doing a lot of good things. It’s not like I’m just lost out there. I feel like I’m close. I think you just have to stay positive, and hopefully one week it all clicks and you find yourself in the mix on Sunday and then try to take advantage of that.”
" The greens are absolutely perfect, I think the scores are reflective on that. They were a little slower, but part of that, too, is the weather. It was like a little dewy mist out there all day, which played a part in the speed of the greens."
There are five players tied in third place, all at -6 under par, they are, Keegan Bradley, Matt Kuchar, J.B. Holmes, Eric Compton and Jim Renner.
This field is really bunched up, with ten players recording rounds of -5 under par, 67.
Phil Mickleson is in the hunt, finishing his opening round at -4 under par 68.
Phil's bogey-free performance was a world away from last week when he was forced to withdraw during the third round in San Antonio, after pulling a muscle in his right side;
"I'm surprised because I was worried about the Masters. I was certainly worried about Houston, but it healed a lot quicker. I felt great today; didn't feel any pain or discomfort and didn't even think about it."
" One of the things I really worked on hard today was staying focused on each shot. I needed to play here this week and really challenge myself in that regard to give myself the best chance for next week."
Two-time major winner Rory McIlroy settled for an opening round of -2 under par 70, which he said was a solid round;
"Solid, if unspectacular start here in Houston. Really happy with my form from tee to green. Hole a few more putts and I'll be right there."
“The greens weren’t quite as fast as we’re used to here, so I struggled getting the ball to the hole. I just need to work on my speed a little bit, but I’m very encouraged with how I hit the ball. I just didn’t score particularly well.”