Fowler makes strong start in Houston

Rain delayed the Houston Open as Rickie Fowler started well with a six-under 66 in the opening round.

American Rickie Fowler   -  Getty Images

Rickie Fowler made a strong start to the Houston Open as Sam Ryder held a one-shot lead when round one was suspended due to darkness.

Looking for improved form ahead of the Masters, Fowler carded a six-under 66 in the opening round at the Golf Club of Houston on Thursday.

Fowler, 29, only made one bogey – at the par-four sixth – during a good start to the PGA Tour event.

The American has just one top-10 finish in six events this year and will be eager to contend ahead of the first major of 2018.

Rain saw the start of the tournament delayed before darkness led to a suspension with Ryder eight under through 15 holes.

Beau Hossler was seven under through 16 to be in a tie for second with Lucas Glover and Kevin Tway, who opened with 65s.

Fowler is joined a shot further back by Rod Pampling, Julian Suri, Ryan Armour and Paul Dunne.

Dunne is the only one of that quintet yet to finish his round, sitting at six under with four to play.

Jordan Spieth, who like Fowler is desperate to find some form, produced a strong finish with three consecutive birdies for a four-under 68.

The 2011 champion, Phil Mickelson made an incredible start with six birdies on his opening eight holes.

However, the American was unable to build further on that, a double bogey at the par-three 14th seeing him finish at four under.

Defending champion Russell Henley is tied for 48th after carding a three-under 69.

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