Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Points leads Houston Open

D.A. Points hits his approach shot on No. 17 on the way to the last of his nine birdies in his 8-under 64 at the Houston Open.

Getty Images

D.A. Points hits his approach shot on No. 17 on the way to the last of his nine birdies in his 8-under 64 at the Houston Open.

HUMBLE, Texas — The putter D.A. Points once took from his mother paid off nicely for him Thursday in the Houston Open.

Points opened with five straight birdies and wound up with 8-under 64 in the first round on a pleasant morning at Redstone Golf Club. He had a one-shot lead over Cameron Tringale and John Rollins.

Rory McIlroy had to fight hard for 73.

In his final tournament before the Masters in two weeks, McIlroy caught the lip of a bunker and followed with a 5-wood into the water for a double bogey on the par-5 eighth hole that put him at 3 over. He rallied on the back nine with three birdies in a four-hole stretch but missed a 7-foot par putt on 17 after a flop shot over a wide bunker.

"I felt like on the front nine I was a little tentative," McIlroy said. "I just tried to commit to myself a little more on the back nine, and it seemed to help. … Hopefully the conditions are a little calmer (this) morning."

Points, 36, first borrowed the Ping Anser from his mother during his junior playing years in Illinois, and he abandoned it once he stopped making putts. But he recently asked Ping to clean it up and add weight. He also got a putting lesson.

"Maybe I'm an idiot for not having used this putter the whole time," Points said.

Points — who has made just two cuts this year on the PGA Tour and whose only win has come with actor Bill Murray at his side at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in 2011 — made all five of his opening birdies from inside 15 feet. He dropped only one shot along the way.

Phil Mickelson was at 4 under and in the mix until he hit his tee shot into the water on the sixth hole and made double bogey, nearly hooked a 3-wood into the hazard on the next hole and three-putted for bogey, and then made bogey on the par-3 ninth from a bunker to wind up at 72.

"It was a disappointing finish," he said. "I feel really good with the putter, and I believe that as the tournament goes on, I'll get better."

Points leads Houston Open 03/28/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 28, 2013 9:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 27: Brian Dozier #2 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates hitting a two-run home run as Derek Norris #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during the eighth inning of the game on May 27, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rays 5-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010973
  2. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  3. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  4. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  5. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]