Piercy leads in Houston with 63

Scott Piercy carded a bogey-free 9-under-par 63 to tie the course record and take a two-stroke lead over J.B. Holmes and Alex Cejka of Germany after one round of the Shell Houston Open on the Tournament Course at the Golf Club of Houston.

The 36-year-old Piercy, who grew up in Las Vegas and played at San Diego State, birdied the first four holes and six of his second nine while finishing on the front, the last with a 31-foot putt on the ninth hole.

“Everything went right,” said Piercy, whose two PGA Tour victories came in the 2011 Reno-Tahoe Open and the 2012 CN Canadian Open. “I hit the ball so good. It’s been building. I kept hitting good shot after good shot. By the end, I was (only) trying to make birdies.

“It’s the first round. If I’m sitting here Sunday, then I’ll be super-excited. If I (keep playing) like I did today, I would say there’s a pretty good chance of that.”

Piercy became only the fifth player to shoot 63 in the tournament, but only Phil Mickelson (2011) and Johnson Wagner (2008) went on to claim the title.

Cejka, who captured his first PGA Tour victory in his 287th start earlier this year in the Puerto Rico Open, had a bogey-free round going until his last hole, No. 9, where he hit his tee shot into a greenside bunker and missed a 15-foot putt to make a bogey-4 that left him at 65.

Holmes holed his second shot of the day from 85 yards for an eagle on the 10th hole and had a single bogey, at No. 6, in his 65.

Mickelson, still looking for his first top-10 finish of the season, had five birdies on his front nine and made his only bogey while finishing at No. 9 to post a 66 and was tied for fourth with Shawn Stefani, Luke Guthrie and Charles Howell III, who all played bogey-free.

Matt Kuchar and Sergio Garcia of Spain both shot 67 and were tied for eighth.

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