Hoffman leads in wind-swept Texas Open
SAN ANTONIO — Charley Hoffman took advantage of calmer afternoon conditions to take the first-round lead in the wind-swept Texas Open, shooting a 5-under 67 on Thursday.
After wind gusts threatening 40 mph pummeled the morning starters, Hoffman faced steady 15 mph wind in the afternoon at TPC San Antonio. He had the lone bogey-free round, birdieing Nos. 2, 3, 9, 11 and 17.
The winner last year in Mexico at the start of the wraparound season, Hoffman has eight top-10 finishes in nine appearances in San Antonio. He was second in 2011 and third in 2013.
"I don't know the answer to (the success here)," Hoffman said. "Visually, the course sets up nice for me off the tee. It was just a pretty low-stress round for me."
Aaron Baddeley was second after a 68. The Australian had a remarkable birdie on the par-4 17th when he snap-hooked his drive deep into thick woods, went back to the tee and holed out from 336 yards.
"That was crazy," Baddeley said. "I hit it, started walking, and the crowd starts going nuts. So, I'm 'Wait. I just made birdie.' It rolls up and goes in."
Max Homa had a 69, and Phil Mickelson and Ryan Palmer shot 70.
Mickelson, winless since the 2013 British Open, lost the clubhead off his 8-iron when it came flying off while he hit from a fairway bunker on the 12th hole.
"That was weird," Mickelson said. "But I thought it was playable out there, for the conditions. It's nice, selfishly, to be on the good end of the tee times in the afternoon. It really looked tough for the guys in the morning."
LPGA KIA CLASSIC: At Carlsbad, Calif., Mirim Lee birdied all four par-5 holes and finished with a bogey-free 7-under 65 to take the first-round lead in the Kia Classic.
Lee took the outright lead with an 8-foot putt on the par-5 fifth — her 14th hole in her afternoon round at Aviara — and hit a wedge to 3 feet to set up her final birdie on the par-5 eighth. The 24-year-old South Korean player won LPGA Tour events last year in Michigan and China.
Yani Tseng, winless in 70 starts since her victory in the 2012 event at nearby La Costa, had a 66.
Top-ranked Lydia Ko was two strokes back at 67 along with Karrie Webb, Cristie Kerr and China's Lin Xiyu. The 17-year-old Ko has 10 straight top-10 finishes and has broken par in her last 25 LPGA Tour rounds and 28 worldwide.