Aussies have field day at Vivint Houston Open, Snedeker takes early lead

The Australians have made their way to the top in Houston. 

Camron Davis. Image source: Getty Images

Report via PGA Tour media

In the first round of the Vivint Houston Open, five Australians find themselves among the top 20 golfers at the PGA Memorial Park. Play was suspended due to the darkness and will conclude Friday morning.

Sydney’s Cameron Davis and Beaudesert’s Jason Day lead the Aussies, shooting matching 3-under 67s to sit in a six-way tie for second. Brandt Snedeker made a late push to overtake the pack and currently sits atop the leaderboard at 5-under. 

Following a nearly month-long break from competition, Davis recorded four birdies in his final seven holes to notch his 3-under effort. 

“I took advantage of a couple of good early shots, kind of stumbled a little bit through the middle of the round, but it was really nice to do a lot of really good ball-striking coming in,” Davis said. He last played on Oct. 11 at the Shriners Hospital for Children Open in Las Vegas. “It’s nice to get off to a good start on a tough golf course like this because every round’s really important out here, you can’t really afford to have a stumble.”

Davis opened with a birdie at the 10th adding another at No. 13. After three bogeys over the next five holes dropped to 1-over at the turn, Davis responded with four birdies over the next seven holes, and entered the clubhouse for a brief tie atop the leaderboard.

But the early momentum seemed to evaporate almost as quickly as it showed up, as the 25-year-old dropped three bogeys over the next five holes to fall to 1-over at the halfway point. 

The rust was apparently gone over the final nine, as Davis recorded four birdies during the next seven holes to climb up the leaderboard and finish his round tied for first. 

Day, who also started on the back, opened with a birdie at the 15th before carding a double bogey and bogey over his next three holes. But like Davis he rebounded late, posting four consecutive birdies on Nos. 3 through 6 to get to 2-under.

“Well, I think I drove it half decently well. I mean, when I did miss it, I missed it in pretty good spots and then out of the rough I hit some nice iron shots to at least give myself a chance at getting up and down,” Day said. “You know, overall I feel pretty happy with my putting. I think I putted a lot better today than I had in the past and I think it’s just a good step in the right direction.”

Davis is going for his first PGA Tour win, while Day is in search of his first on Tour since 2018. Both will have to overtake Snedeker and hold off their fellow countrymen to accomplish the feat. 

Adelaide’s Adam Scott and Sydney’s Greg Chalmers finished their first rounds by each shooting 2-under 68 efforts to sit in an eight-way tie for eighth. 

Scott followed a similar path to Davis and Day, recording an early double-bogey on 11 before rallying with four birdies on his last nine. 

“I got off to a bad start and I didn’t panic and hung in there and hit lots of good shots, made a couple putts. You know, I can see this week is going to be one of those long weeks on the golf course, it’s a pretty relentless golf course,” Scott said. “If I can see a little bit of improvement in the next three days, I might have a chance here this week and I’ll feel good about going to next week.”

Chalmers opened his day with a double bogey at the first before playing to even through 14. He finished the round with consecutive birdies to get to 2-under. 

Fresh off his top five finish at the Bermuda Championship last week, fellow Australian and Sydney native Matt Jones also put himself in the mix, shooting a 1-under 69 to start the tournament, tying him for 16th. 

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