The first round of Valero Texas Open golf action saw 18 rounds in the 60s and play get suspended due to darkness in San Antonio at the JW Marriott TPC San Antonio Oaks Course.
Steele and Hoffman steal top two positions on day one
Brendan Steele only completed 13 of his 18 holes in his first round as he was a part of the several golfers whose play was halted due to a lack of sunlight in the late hours. Steele had an impressive round going as he sits atop the leaderboard at eight-under par. The American started on the back nine and kicked off his first round with birdies on four of the first five holes.
The leader kept his solid play bogey-free as he carded eight birdies and five pars during his time on the luxurious resort golf course. Steele has struggled so far this season with his only top ten finish dating back to October of last year. He looks to turn around his recent slump as he holds a two-shot lead heading into a busy day two of Oaks Course action.
Charley Hoffman is fresh off a disappointing end to his RBC Heritage run. The three-time PGA Tour victor has yet to reach more than one top ten this season, but his opening round six-under par, 66 marked as, yet, another, tremendous start to an event. Hoffman fired seven birdies and a bogey to card the lowest finished score of the day as he looks to defy his recent struggles in the later stages of golf tournaments. The American's highlight of his day was a beautiful 22 foot sunken putt for his birdie on the 13th hole.
Golfers in contention
Stuart Appleby ranks amongst the top with his opening round 67. The Australian finished his round with five consecutive birdies to put himself in a tie for third with Peter Malnati. Malnati carded three birdies and one eagle for his bogey-free round as he looks to turn around his horrible past seven tournaments in which he missed the every cut.
Brandt Snedeker was held under high expectations last week in South Carolina, but a disappointing RBC Heritage campaign saw the 2011 champion miss the chance to play on the weekend. Snedeker rebounded and started the Valero Texas Open with a spot in the top five as he played his first 14 holes at four-under par. The American joins the likes of Steve Flesch, Patrick Reed, and past Valero Texas Open champion, Freddie Jacobson. The long list of players to round off the top ten in a tie for ninth is highlighted by Zach Johnson and Luke Donald, who is playing great golf as of late.
Round one surprises
Last year's champion, Jimmy Walker, trails by 11 shots after a three-over par first round on the TPC San Antonio Oaks Course. Phil Mickelson sees himself in a tie for 81st as his string of bogeys to close out his front nine ultimately resulted in his first round of 73. Bryson DeChambeau is playing under-par worthy golf, but his start to his tournament in San Antonio does not look good with a streaky, inconsistent day one. Steve Flesch's performance deemed as this biggest surprise of the event thus far as he got into the field as the third alternate and now sits among the top five after an impressive four-under par round to start his unexpected Valero Texas Open tournament.
Hoffman reflects on opening round
Charley Hoffman continued his form at the JW Marriott resort with an opening round 66 to put him in a solo spot for second, but holds the clubhouse lead. Hoffman told the media about his satisfaction about his six-under par start. The American also states why he is so successful in San Antonio.
“Six under is always good on this golf course or any golf course. I tend to play well here and hopefully I can keep it going and have a chance on Sunday," the 2014 OHL Classic at Mayakoba champion told the media after firing a first round of 66. "For some reason I roll the putter well here. … It’s just one of those golf courses that sets up good to the eye. I feel good playing the golf course.”