Sat, Mar 29, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Danny Lee shares lead in Texas

AFP, SAN ANTONIO, Texas

Danny Lee plays a shot from a bunker during the Valero Texas Open at the AT&T Oaks Course in San Antonio, Texas, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

New Zealander Danny Lee, still building on a confidence-boosting runner-up finish in Puerto Rico, seized a share of the first-round lead on Thursday in the fog-delayed PGA Tour Texas Open.

Lee birdied four of his final five holes on his way to a four-under par 68, joining American Pat Perez atop the leaderboard.

After fog delayed the start of the round by two-and-a-half hours, darkness halted play with 45 players still on the course and due to return yesterday to complete their rounds.

They included American Andrew Loupe, who was four-under through 11 holes.

South Korean Noh Seung-yul was among four players in the clubhouse on three-under 69.

Americans Will MacKenzie, Cameron Beckman and Chesson Hadley were also in the clubhouse one shot off the lead.

Lee, 23, was pleased with his round.

“I was hitting it really well,” Lee said. “I wasn’t making enough putts early in the early round, but at the end I made some 15-footers and 25-footers.”

Lee had made just two cuts in nine starts when he arrived in Puerto Rico three weeks ago.

Lee, who now lives in Texas, was surprised to see a foggy morning in the Lone Star State, calling it “weird.”

Perez was in the first group to tee off at hole number one.

EARLY START

He was up at 4:30am for a scheduled 7:30am tee time, and it was still cold and damp when his group finally got underway, although it was sunny and warm in the afternoon.

“It was actually miserable,” Perez said of the weather when he teed off.

As the conditions improved, so did Perez, who, like Lee, finished with five birdies and missed par on only one occasion.

After a bogey at 15, where he was in the bunker, Perez closed with three straight birdies.

Perez, like most of the field, needs a win here to qualify for the Masters.

Lee, whose stellar amateur career included a victory in a European Tour event, played the Masters in 2009 as the 2008 US Amateur Champion.

AUGUSTA

He would love to return to Augusta National, but he also said it was too soon to think that far ahead.

“I’m just thinking about this week, tomorrow, next shot,” he said.

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