Rickie Fowler entered his final Masters tune-up as one of the favorites to win the year's first major. His first-round performance at the Shell Houston Open won't hurt his odds.
Fowler fired an eight-under-par 64 at the Golf Club of Houston on Thursday, taking a one-shot lead over Sunghoon Kang and a two-shot edge over a group of group that includes Stewart Cink. Fowler started on the 10th hole and birdied five of his first seven holes. He added three more birdies on the back nine, including this laser long iron on the par-3 ninth to finish his bogey-free round:
Keegan Bradley and Vaughn Taylor opened with 67. Both are trying to play themselves into the field at Augusta National by winning. Bradley is looking for his first PGA Tour title since 2012.
Rickie Fowler's Masters odds have crept down to 20/1 following a four-tournament stretch that includes a win at the Honda Classic. He's climbed back into the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking following a rough end to 2016 that resulted in him needing to make the U.S. Ryder Cup team via a captain's pick.
Fowler played alongside fellow Ryder Cupper Jimmy Walker (three under) and defending Shell Houston Open champ Jim Herman (two over).