Haas, Hoffman tied in Houston

Bill Haas scorched the front nine of the Tournament Course at the Golf Course of Houston while posting a 7-under-par 65 to tie Charley Hoffman for the first-round lead in the Shell Houston Open in Humble, Texas.

Haas, who has won five times on the PGA Tour, carded four birdies and holed a 28-foot eagle putt on the fifth hole while finishing on the front side, which he played in 6-under 30.

”The greens are absolutely perfect,” said Haas, the 2011 FedEx Cup champion. ”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.”

Hoffman, out of Poway and UNLV, recorded a bogey-free 65 as he searches for his third PGA Tour victory and first since the 2010 Deutsche Bank Championship.

Keegan Bradley posted a bogey-free 6-under-par 66 and was tied for third with Matt Kuchar, J.B. Holmes, Erik Compton and Jim Renner.

Stewart Cink bounced back from a bogey on the first hole to shoot 67 and was tied for eighth with Sergio Garcia of Spain, Michael Thompson, Camilo Villegas of Colombia, Ben Curtis, Justin Hicks, Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, Jason Gore, Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela and Shawn Stefani.

Phil Mickelson, who has not posted a top-10 finish this year on the PGA Tour and withdrew from the Valero Texas Open last week after 10 holes of the third round because of a strained oblique muscle, was in a tie for 18th at 68.


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