Blaine McCallister shook off heavy rains and a long delay to shoot an eight-under-par 64 Thursday, taking a one-stroke lead as the opening round of the Houston Open was suspended because of darkness.
Seventy-eight players remained on the course when play was halted and were to finish their opening rounds today.
Among them was John Flannery, who made the turn at six-under 30 and was at six under through 13 holes when play was called.
Of the finishers, John Huston was second at 65, with Jeff Maggert and Ed Sneed at 66. Five players, including Ben Crenshaw, Gil Morgan and Billy Ray Brown, were at 67.
LPGA veteran Kristi Albers had an eagle as part of a six-under-par 66 and took the opening-round lead in the richest tournament in women’s golf.
Albers, who is looking for her first victory after more than seven seasons on tour, held a two-shot lead over Page Dunlap in the $1.2-million Sprint Classic at Tallahassee, Fla.
“It’s hard to stay patient, but I know I have to,” Albers said. “I’ve seen a lot of players who came after me win, but I know I have to just let it happen.”
Albers, who started on the back nine, catapulted into the lead when she eagled the 464-yard, par-five fifth with a 30-foot chip.
Albers, 29, has won $23,000 this season in seven events and would love to celebrate her first career victory with the $180,000 winner’s purse in this 72-hole event.
“I’ve had good experiences on this golf course,” she said. “But I have so many holes to play it’s really not a consideration.”
Dunlap, who played last year in Europe, was the early leader with a 68. She is also seeking her first LPGA victory.
“When and if it happens, I’ll be ready for it,” said Dunlap, who has never finished higher than 21st on the LPGA circuit. “I like to see my name on the board. It’s been awhile.”
Hollis Stacy was among eight players at 69.