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Points has an old putter and takes early lead

Updated: March 28, 2013, 9:03 PM ET
Associated Press

HUMBLE, Texas -- The march to the Masters for Rory McIlroy looks more like a crawl.

McIlroy only had four birdie putts on the front nine, none closer than 20 feet. He took two chips to reach the second green. He found the water on the third-easiest hole at Redstone Golf Club and made double bogey. What he salvaged Thursday in the Houston Open was a 73, along with some optimism.

"I think I'm still a little bit tentative on the golf course and not committing to my shots fully," McIlroy ...

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