Charley Hoffman holds a one-shot lead after carding an eight-under-par round of 64 on day one of the Shell Houston Open.
The 39-year-old recorded nine birdies and dropped just one shot as he pulled clear of the field at the Golf Club of Houston, but the hard work starts now for the American, who has already failed to capitalise on similarly strong positions this season.
He told reporters: “I’ve shot 3- or 4-over on the back nine on Sunday when I’ve been going from winning the golf tournament to 12th or 15th place.
“I’ve played fairly solidly from the start of the year to now and haven’t been missing cuts, but I haven’t been able to put four rounds together. Hopefully I can do that this week.”
Hoffmann, whose last victory on the PGA Tour was at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in November 2014, holds a one-shot lead from a group of four players, including world number nine Dustin Johnson.
Johnson’s round ended with an eagle and then birdie finish at his final two holes to catapult him into contention and he was quick to emphasise the importance of making a strong start.
Johnson said: “You always want to get off to a good start in any tournament. Today I got off to a great start. I still feel like I’m playing really solid, rolling the putter good.”
The American is joined on seven-under by Roberto Castro, Scott Brown and Morgan Hoffmann, but it is leader Hoffman, who is available at 13.00 to win the tournament, that appears to be the man to beat in Texas.