Thunderstorms Bring Play To A Halt In Texas

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Carl PetterssonThe first round of play at the Shell Houston Open was suspended with less than half of the players completing their rounds due to thunderstorms that made the golf course unplayable. Tournament director, Steve Timms, made the decision to blow the horn at 1:27pm local time after one and a quarter inches of rain had flooded many of the fairways and greens. “You just can’t play under the rules of golf with that much casual water,” Timms said. “Let it drain overnight, and I think it will be just fine.”

Carl Pettersson and 2009 Masters Champion, Angel Cabrera shared the lead after shooting seven-under rounds of 65 in the earlier calm conditions, with Cabrera commenting on how “The course is perfect. It’s really spectacular and it’s right for making a good score.” (Angel Cabrera 20/1 to win). Both leaders haven’t been on particularly good form this season and will be hoping this week can kick-start their year as the first Major of the season approaches. Cabrera has missed the cut in four of his first five tournaments this season, however he has good memories at Augusta and will be hoping his good play on Thursday can set him up well for next week. Pettersson made eight birdies in his round and looks to be making a challenge for the first time since a tied second place finish in the first tournament of the year in Hawaii. Since then he has four finishes outside of the top 30 and another two missed cuts, showing that he is not exactly on the best of form.

Notable names who find themselves in behind the leaders at this early stage are the likes of Keegan Bradley at five-under par, Steve Stricker and Lee Westwood at four-under and Hunter Mahan at three-under (Lee Westwood 9/1 to win). Bradley has been the PGA Tour’s in-form player this season with eight top 25 finishes in eight tournaments and he will be looking to continue this form as the Masters fast approaches (Keegan Bradley 10/1 to win). Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and Charl Schwartzel were all on the course when play was suspended, all on one-under par after playing less than four holes. This is a big week for Els, as he needs to win to make it into the field for next week’s Masters and with such a great record at Augusta it would be a disappointment to have a Major tournament there without him (Ernie Els 25/1 to win).

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