Vijay Singh, winner of two of the last three tournaments in Houston, is off to a flying start in his title defence at the Houston Open, firing an opening-round eight-under-par 64.
The world’s number two golfer, Singh leads Australians Gavin Coles and Brendan Jones by one shot and a group of eight including England’s Greg Owen by two.
Singh fired eight birdies in a bogey-free round. Starting on the back nine of the 7,508-yard Redstone Golf Club course, he birdied the 12th and reeled off three consecutive birdies starting at the 15th.
On his final nine, Singh recorded four more birdies to card his best round here – and 10 shots better than his opening round from last year, when he stormed back to win.
“It sets up for longer hitters if you are hitting the ball straight,” said Singh, who shares the tournament record.
“Today was a great example. I drove the ball pretty straight and pretty long. When you do that, you have a lot of looks at the holes for birdies.”
Last year, Singh erased his opening 74 with three consecutive rounds in the 60s for his second win of the season.
“I putted really well,” Singh said. “I have been playing well, but my putter has been letting me down. Today, it kind of woke up.”
John Daly took advantage of his length off the tee to fire a 68, good for a tie for 12th. Daly led the field in driving distance, smashing his drives an average of 331 yards. He carded six birdies and needed only 27 putts.