HOUSTON, Texas - D.A. Points fired an eight-under-par 64 to grab a one-stroke lead at the Houston Open yesterday as Rory McIlroy's bid to reclaim his world No.1 status got off to a shaky start.
Points, who started on the back nine, has a slim lead over fellow Americans Cameron Tringale and John Rollins, who each carded a seven-under 65 at the Redstone Golf Club on Thursday.
"They're not super difficult holes," Points said. "But if you hit it where you're looking and you leave it in the right spot, you make a good stroke, you give yourself good chances to make birdies."
Points started quickly as he rolled in a pair of putts from over 11 feet during his opening birdie run.
Points said he used his mother's old putter during the round.
"You know, it was one of those rounds where I felt like I was going to putt pretty well because I changed the putter and had a putting lesson and was feeling pretty good," said Points.
Points made the turn at six-under after nailing a 55-foot birdie putt at the 17th.
He converted another lengthy putt at the third from 36 feet but then recorded his lone bogey of the day at the fifth.
He had a five-foot birdie putt at the eighth and closed his round with a par to take the clubhouse lead.
But while Points was red hot, McIlroy's hopes of wresting back his world number one status from Tiger Woods suffered a setback.
McIlroy carded a one-over-par 73 in a round which included a double-bogey on the par-three eighth. He finished with three bogeys.
After struggling on the front nine, McIlroy rebounded after the turn making birdie on three of his first four holes.