Lee Westwood makes solid start at Shell Houston Open

Solid start for Westwood at Houston but Pettersson and Cabrera lead the way

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UPDATED:

22:51 GMT, 29 March 2012

Sweden's Carl Pettersson and Argentina's Angel Cabrera set the clubhouse target before play was suspended in the first round of the Shell Houston Open on Thursday.

Cabrera birdied the 18th to complete a flawless seven-under-par 65 shortly before lightning in the area forced the players from the course at Redstone Golf Club.

Pettersson was already safely in the clubhouse by that point after carding eight birdies and one bogey – on the 17th – in his opening round.

Warming up: Lee Westwood had a reasonable start

Warming up: Lee Westwood had a reasonable start

HOUSTON LEADERBOARD

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American duo Jeff Maggert and Ricky Barnes were a shot further back after rounds of 66, while England's Lee Westwood also made a good start with a round of 68 to lie four under.

Westwood will make his 56th attempt to win a major at next week's US Masters, and for the fourth year running is warming up in Houston.

But the world number three did not stop off at Augusta National en route this time.

'I didn't think it was that necessary,' the 38-year-old said.

'It's a nice place to go and soak up
the atmosphere with nobody there and get some work done, but the course
isn't really reflective of how it's going to be on Thursday morning next
week.

'It changes so much
in three days. I just decided not to this year and thought the extra
couple of days at home would do me more good.'

Pleased: Carl Pettersson will be happy with his day's work

Pleased: Carl Pettersson will be happy with his day's work

Westwood was runner-up to Mickelson at Augusta two years ago, while Cabrera claimed the coveted green jacket in 2009.

Play remained suspended as torrential rain battered the course, but Westwood was able to look on the bright side.

'Might have got on the right side of the draw this week too,' Westwood wrote on his Twitter account. 'Play suspended this afternoon. Gym time for me.'

And Ryder Cup team-mate Graeme McDowell, second to Tiger Woods at Bay Hill last week, was also in a positive mood after recovering from a double bogey on his third hole of the day to card an opening 70.

The former US Open champion tweeted: 'Discovered today that balls don't always bounce back off camera towers to 6 feet. Try 30 yards right angles into the aqua. #oops #double.'