Here’s what you missed from Round 1 of the Houston Open

October 11, 2019

The PGA Tour moved on to Houston this week, for the Houston Open’s new calendar date on the fall schedule. Sadly, the move from its pre-Masters spot has cost the tournament in terms of top-tier player commitments. Earlier this week, headlines emerged that not one single player in the top 30 would be teeing it up in the Lone Star state.

But the Tour forges on, and low scores still abounded at the Golf Club of Houston’s Tournament Course. Here’s everything you missed from Thursday’s action.

Austin Cook and Talor Gooch share the lead

Austin Cook, 28, and Talor Gooch, 27, both shot rounds of eight-under-par 64 on Thursday, to lead the tournament by one shot over Sepp Straka, who at seven under is currently alone in third.

Cook’s round got off to a super-hot start. He shot 29 on the front, highlighted by a five-hole run on Nos. 5-9 that included three birdies in a row, an eagle, and another birdie. His back nine was clean — no bogeys — but included just one additional birdie. Incredibly, Gooch’s round included 10 birdies and two bogeys.

Cook has one Tour victory on his resume, the 2018 RSM Classic, while Gooch won on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2017 but is still seeking his maiden win on the PGA Tour.

Are there ANY big-name players in Houston?

Yes, there’s a handful!

Safeway Open champ Cameron Champ is in attendance, and he’s five shots off the lead after opening with a three-under-par 69.

Two-time Tour winner Patton Kizzire is also on hand. He’s seven back after firing a one-under-par 71.

Former PGA champions Jason Dufner and Keegan Bradley are also playing this week. Dufner shot one-over-par 73 while Bradley struggled to a four-over-par 76.

Anything else of note?

Houston native and the No. 2-ranked amateur in the world, Cole Hammer, shot an impressive 67 on Thursday. The University of Texas sophomore is 20 years old, and now, only three shots behind the tournament leaders in his PGA Tour debut.

Former PGA champion Rich Beem, 49, is playing on a sponsor’s exemption this week, and also had a fine showing in Round 1, shooting three-under-par 69 to sit five shots behind the leaders.

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