Even though first rounds conditions at the Shell Houston Open were optimal for scoring, not everyone was able to take advantage. Defending champion Hunter Mahan carded a two over par 74 in his first round. The other members of his group didn’t fare much better. Phil Mickelson shot an even par 72, while Geoff Ogilvy fired a disappointing 1 over par 73.
The Mahan, Mickelson and Ogilvy group was one of the first to hit the course today. They encountered exceptional conditions, with temperatures around 60 degrees and minimal wind with which to contend. Even still, none of the members of this group were able to get anything going, which could be incredibly detrimental to their chances of winning. The clubhouse leader as of right now is D.A. Points at eight under par. That’s a lot of ground for each of these guys to make up, respectively.
The vast majority of the players that went off in the morning session were able to come in under par, with 11 of them shooting in the 60’s. It doesn’t appear as if the course has gotten much more difficult as the day has progressed.
Mickelson, who carded the lowest round of the group, would have been in good shape had avoided a rough patch near the end of his round. He started on the back nine and shot 33 before moving on to the front. He finished his round going four over par in his last five holes, including a double bogey at the fifth hole. Before the train started to come off the tracks he was four under par after 13 holes and would have been in contention if he was able to hold the round together.