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Rickie Fowler off to fast start in Shell Houston Open

By Steve Habel, The Sports Xchange
Rickie Fowler off to fast start in Shell Houston Open
USA team member Rickie Fowler watches his drive off of the 6th tee during day 3 of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota on October 2, 2016. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

HUMBLE, Texas -- Rickie Fowler fired a bogey-free 8-under-par 64 early in the day and assumed the first wave lead at the Shell Houston Open on Thursday under cloudless skies at the Golf Club of Houston.

Fowler, ranked No. 9 in the World Golf Rankings, started on the back-nine and birdied four of his first five holes while going out in 31 on the par-72 course. He added three birdies on the front-nine, including a five-foot putt on his final hole, the 230-yard, par-3 ninth.

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Vaughn Taylor and Keegan Bradley were in the clubhouse tied for second place at 5-under 67 from the early wave, with Jason Dufner and Russell Hensley among a large group at 68. Phil Mickelson, who won at Houston in 2011, was among those golfers at even par while defending champion Jim Herman finished at 74, 10 strokes off Fowler's pace.

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