D.A. Points grabs the lead as Rory McIlroy struggles

AFP, HOUSTON, Texas

Sat, Mar 30, 2013 - Page 20

D.A. Points fired an eight-under-par 64 to grab a one-stroke lead at the Houston Open on Thursday 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.

Points started quickly as he rolled in a pair of putts from more than 11 feet during his opening birdie run.

Points said his 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,” Points said.

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.

However, while Points was red hot, McIlroy’s hopes of wresting back his world No. 1 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.