Three years ago the 34-year-old from Bristol was beaten by Houston on the last green in the home internationals at Prestwick. A bigger incentive than the memory of that defeat, however, was that Houston is a rival for a Walker Cup place this season. Theirs was the only clash between two squad members in the first round of matchplay.
The defeats of the Dubliner Padraig Harrington and Bradley Dredge, from Newport, mean that there is not a single player with Walker Cup experience among the 32 survivors. Lee James, the defending champion, progressed, six and five, against the Scot, Steven Carmichael.
Gordon Sherry, the runner-up to James 12 months ago, came from two down to beat the Frenchman, Christophe Ravetto, two and one. "There's only one thing on my mind: going one step further than last year," he said.Reuse content