Masters 2018: Padraig Harrington boost invitation chances after opening Houston Open round

Jordan Spieth of the United States plays his shot from the 15th tee during the third round of the World Golf Championships Dell Match Play at Austin Country Club

That meant an 0720 start (local time) to play just one hole and complete a disappointing 73, but the former Ryder Cup star quickly turned things around when play resumed.

Glover and Tway both fired seven birdies in opening rounds of 65 to enjoy a one-shot lead over Rickie Fowler, Rod Pampling and Julian Suri on an opening day delayed by two hours due to more than two inches of raining falling overnight.

Indeed, the West Waterford-born Power found himself the subject of attention by SKY's James Haddock after his round who had video footage of Power's 27-foot birdie gem at the last. However, the stats gurus had made a mistake and, just before he teed off against Kevin Kisner, Poulter was told that he in fact needed to reach the semi-final.

"I'm happy with it", Harrington said afterwards. It was stress free. "That was the best first round I've had in a long time".

"I struggled a little on the last four holes, it was my "normal" golf on the last four holes". "I started to get a feeling I really liked and I committed the last few holes".

"I know what I need to do which is always in a nice place to be", he added.

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As predicted, midweek was soggy and came with a rather spectacular early-morning sound and light show. Martin Bowles from the Met Office said: "The Beast from the East isn't coming I'm afraid".

Indeed, it boosts hope also of Harrington ending a miserable run of 2018 "outs" in that he's missed the cut in five of his six events this new season.

He said: "This hasn't been the start that I've wanted so far, but I would like to think the season kind of starts next week". I'm trying to have a fantastic event here obviously, which is the best way to gear up for Augusta.

"In 2016 I was hitting it horrendously going into Augusta".

"To be honest for most of it, it was pretty straight-forward, I didn't get myself in much trouble".

Power continued his superb Dominican Republic form from last week fighting back from a third hole bogey with six birdies including birdies at this closing three holes in his 67.

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