Perez among three leaders at delayed Texas Open
San Antonio, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Pat Perez carded a 4-under 68 on Thursday and that was good enough to give him a share of the lead with the first round of the Texas Open suspended due to darkness.
Perez was joined in the clubhouse by Danny Lee. Andrew Loupe also stood at minus-4, but had only completed 11 holes of his opening round at TPC San Antonio.
There was a 2 1/2 hour fog delay at the start of the round. Play was later called for the day with most of the afternoon wave of players still on the course. The round will resume at 9 a.m. (ET) on Friday.
Puerto Rico Open winner Chesson Hadley posted a 3-under 69. He shares fourth place with Cameron Beckman, Will MacKenzie and Seung-Yul Noh, who are all finished their rounds. Justin Hicks (15 holes) and Miguel Angel Carballo (14 holes) are also minus-3.
Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar and two-time champion Zach Johnson all shot 2-under 70. They are among 20 players tied for 10th place.
Perez, who finished second earlier this year at the Farmers Insurance Open, started with seven straight pars. At the par-5 eighth, he played his third shot to nine feet and converted the birdie chance.
The 2009 Bob Hope winner rolled in a 21-footer for birdie on the 11th to move to 2-under. After three pars in row, he found sand with his drive at the 15th. His second came up well short, then he chipped to 19 feet and 2-putted for bogey to slip to minus-1.
Perez bounced back with a 13-foot birdie putt on the 16th. He made it two in a row when his 14-footer for birdie at 17 fell into the cup. Perez closed his round with his third straight birdie, the last from 17 feet out, to gain a share of the lead.
"This morning it was freezing and felt like it was snowing and I hit balls in four layers of clothes. Now I'm sweating. It was a tough morning, but fog delays and rain delays, I've been through so many now you kind of bide the time and it's nothing you can do about it," Perez stated. "It's going to be a long day after that. So, you kind of take yourself down, at least I take myself down when it's time to go, I try to get ramped up again."
Lee had a similar start as he opened with six pars in a row before he sank a 9-footer for birdie at the seventh. Around the turn, he missed the green at the 10th and chipped to five feet, but missed the par putt to slip back to even-par.
The 2008 U.S. Amateur champion made a 4-foot birdie putt on the par-5 14th to get back into red figures. Lee made it two in a row as he poured in a 29- footer for birdie on the 15th.
Lee moved to 3-under when he birdied the 17th from 12 feet out. He finished his round with a 5-foot birdie effort on No. 18.
"It was a really nice day for me. I was hitting it really well," Lee said. "I wasn't making enough putts in the early round, but at the end I made some 15- footers and 25-footers to shoot 4-under today. It was a good day for me."
Loupe birdied the 11th and 12th to quickly move to 2-under. He traded a bogey for a birdie from the 13th and again from the 15th. He converted a 10-foot birdie putt at the 18th to make the turn at minus-3.
The 25-year-old, who missed his first five cuts, made a 10-footer for birdie at the first to gain a piece of the lead. Loupe 2-putted for par on the par-5 second before play was called for the night due to darkness.
NOTES: Defending champion Martin Laird is tied for 51st after opening with an even-par 71 ... Some of the bigger names struggled in the opening round with Ernie Els shooting 2-over 74, Jordan Spieth carding a 3-over 75 and Phil Mickelson struggling to a 5-over 77.
03/27 22:28:13 ET