The putter D.A. Points once took from his mother paid off nicely for him Thursday in the Houston Open.
Points opened with five straight birdies and wound up with an 8-under-par 64 on a pleasant morning with only moderate wind at Redstone Golf Club in Humble, Texas. He had a one-shot lead over Cameron Tringale and John Rollins.
Points first borrowed the Ping Anser from his mother during his junior years in Illinois, and like most golfers, he abandoned it once he stopped making putts. But he recently asked Ping to clean it up for him and add some weight.
‘‘Maybe I’m an idiot for not having used this putter the whole time,’’ Points said. ‘‘It worked well today.’’
Angel Cabrera of Argentina, a two-time major champion who lives in Houston, was in the group at 66. Lee Westwood hit two shots in the water and still salvaged a bogey and was in the large group at 68 that included John Merrick.
Charles Howell III had a 69 in his bid to get into his hometown major at Augusta National. Howell would need to finish at least in fourth place alone to have any chance of moving into the top 50.
Rory McIlroy, playing his first event since August at No. 2 in the world, had a 73. Phil Mickelson also carded a 73.
European — Marcel Siem had two eagles to shoot an 8-under 64 and lead by three strokes after the first round of the Hassan II Trophy at Agadir, Morocco.
Siem also made five birdies on the Golf du Palais Royal course, with an eagle and birdie on the last two holes.