Charley Hoffman carded an 8-under-par 64, missing the course record by one stroke, to take a one-shot lead over Dustin Johnson, Roberto Castro, Morgan Hoffman and Scott Brown after one round of the Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston in Humble, Texas.
Hoffman, from Poway in Southern California and UNLV, birdied four of the first five holes after starting at No. 10–making his lone bogey at No. 16–and birdied the first four holes on the front before adding a final birdie at No. 8.
“I drove the ball pretty well today and the soft fairways helped,” said Hoffman, whose last victory came in the 2014 OHL Classic at Mayakoba. “I also hit some real good iron shots and made some 15-20 foot putts, which haven’t been going in recently.
“Visually, this course sets up nicely for me. The driving areas are generous and great putting surfaces. Obviously, they were going in today.”
Johnson made a 10-foot eagle putt on the way to his 65, while Hoffman holed his third shot from 76 yards for an eagle at No. 4.
Castro had three birdies on the front and four on the back in a bogey-free 65, while Brown also was flawless with four birdies on the front and three on the back.
Johnson Wagner, who lost in Houston to J.B. Holmes in a playoff last year, made an 11-foot eagle putt from the fringe on No. 8 in a 66 that put him in a tie for fourth with Justin Hicks, Chez Reavie and Scott Pinckney.
Jordan Spieth, who lost his No. 1 ranking to Jason Day of Australia this week and will defend his Masters title next week, birdied four of the first eight holes en route to a 67 that put him in a tie for 10th with Jamie Lovemark of Rancho Santa Fe and USC, Graham DeLaet of Canada, Daniel Berger, Andrew Loupe, Steve Marino, Jonas Blixt of Sweden, Davis Love III, Whee Kim of South Korea, Brian Harman and Jon Curran.
Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler of Murrieta, Henrik Stenson, Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, Stuart Appleby of Australia and Patrick Reed opened with 69s and were in a large tie for 32nd.