The winner of the Shell Houston Open gets to play at The Masters, period.
Scott Piercy, a 36-year-old pro from Las Vegas, is a quarter of the way to Augusta National after a dazzling first round Thursday, tying the course record to take a two-stroke lead with his 63.
“It’s the first round,” he said. “If I’m sitting here Sunday, then I’ll be super-excited. If I [play] like I did today, I would say there’s a pretty good chance of that.”
Piercy started the day with four straight birdies, was 6-under at the turn and never hit a bogey for the nearly-perfect round. He leads by two strokes over J.B. Holmes and Germany’s Alex Cejka.
Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson is three strokes back after carding a 6-under 66, his best round of the 2015 season. Mickelson had just one bogey on the day – on No. 9, but responded with birdies on 10, 12, 13, 15, and 17.
More familiar names are tied for eighth at 5-under including Sergio Garcia, playing for the first time in a month, and Matt Kuchar.