You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Aussie trio in touch at Houston Open golf

Press Association logoPress Association 30/03/2017

Australians Adam Scott, Aaron Baddeley and Geoff Ogilvy are within touch of the lead after the first round of the Houston Open.

American world No.9 Rickie Fowler fired flawless round of eight-under 64 at the Golf Club of Houston to lead by a shot from Korean Sung Kang, who made bogey on the 18th hole to be seven-under.

Former Open champion Stewart Cink, Jhonattan Vegas and Kyle Stanley were a shot further back, with England's Justin Rose part of a group on five under, which included fellow former major champion Keegan Bradley.

Scott, Baddeley and Ogilvy carded rounds of 68 to be in a group tied for 13th.

World No.7 Scott was bogey-free while Ogilvy, the 2006 US Open champion, birdied the 16th to join his fellow Aussies at four-under.

Baddeley's round began with three birdies in the first five holes. He didn't card a single bogey during his opening round and added another birdie on the par-three 11th.

Ogilvy and Baddeley are among a group of Australians hoping for a good week in Houston to secure a spot in next week's US Masters.

Matt Jones fired a two-under 70 to be the next-best placed Aussie.

Youngster Cameron Smith shot an even-par round of 72, John Senden, Steven Bowditch and Greg Chalmers all shot two-over rounds of 74.

Robert Allenby and Stuart Appleby had forgettable days, finishing at five-over and seven-over respectively.

Fowler, who opted to miss last week's World Gold Championship Match Play, finished in the top five in all four majors in 2014 but is yet to win one of golf's biggest championships and missed the cut at Augusta National last year after rounds of 80 and 73.

However, the four-time PGA Tour winner - whose last success came in the Honda Classic in February - looks to be in far better form in 2017 and finished off his round in style with a birdie on the 238-yard ninth, his closing hole.

"The reason last week that I wanted to be off (was to) get some down-time rest, spend time with friends," Fowler told PGA Tour Live.

"... it was nice to have the week off to kind of relax, recharge a bit, and I love playing here.

"I like playing my way in the majors and they've been able to do a great job here with conditions around the greens and making it similar as possible to next week.

"Just playing and going through the process and getting ready makes things a lot easier when you go tee it up Thursday next week."

More From Press Association

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon