Kang shoots 63, sets Houston Open 36-hole record

VIDEO Phil Mickelson hits fairway wood from cart path right over a TV camera			@Skratch
VIDEO Phil Mickelson hits fairway wood from cart path right over a TV camera @Skratch
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02 April, 2017

Fowler fired a bogey-free, 8-under-par 64 early in the day and held a one-shot lead over South Korea's Sung Kang through the first round at the Houston Open, played in relatively calm conditions and under cloudless skies in this northern suburb of the Bayou City.

For those yet to qualify for next week's Masters, Houston represents the last chance to earn a start in the year's first major - and of the 10-strong Aussie contingent, only Scott has firm plans for Augusta.

"Couple spike marks right on my line as I tried to hit a straight putt and went to the right, but except for that played great today", Kang said.

Kang was flawless in round two, putting up seven birdies with an eagle on the par-five eighth hole, which was his 17th.

Second-placed Kang was poised to join Fowler in the lead, only to miss a putt at the final hole that was officially measured at four feet but looked considerably shorter.

While Li opened with a 71, Wie shot a 4-under 68 to move one stroke behind leader Karine Icher of France before 35-mph winds shortened the opening day of competition at the first major of the year.

Rickie Fowler enters his seventh Masters Tournament with the knowledge that if he's leading after three rounds, he now has some history of bringing it home for a victory. "I'll just try to play good".

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The world number 202 is not exactly a household name but he outshone his more illustrious opponents, with the likes of Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood all failing to make the cut. "From the beginning all the way to the end, I felt like I had a great process going. Our plan is probably to get there by Saturday night or Sunday morning at this point and get to work".

The 18-year-old Norda's big sister, 24-year-old Jessica, is in the hunt at 3-under 141.

Joe Durant shot a 6-under 66 for a one-shot lead after the first round of the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Half of the field in the LPGA Tour's first major of the year was still on the course when play was stopped.

After missing the cut a year ago, he noted that Augusta National is "mentally tough without the conditions". He's finished in the top 10 in two of four events, including a sixth-place finish at the Allianz Championship in February.

The top-ranked Kiwi men's player had seven birdies and four bogeys to post a three-under 69 at the Golf Club of Houston on Thursday (Friday NZ time). The two-time PGA Tour major championship victor out of Arkansas hasn't finished higher than 23rd on the Champions Tour so far this season.


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