Sung Hyun Kim got off to a strong start on the PGA Tour’s Fall Series.
The South Korean carded an eagle and five birdies without a bogey on the first day of the PGA Tour’s Fortinet Championship ($8.4 million purse) at Silverado Resort and Spa (par-72, 7,123 yards) in Napa, California, USA, on Friday.
With a 7-under 65, Kim is in sole possession of second place, two shots behind leader Lucas Herbert (AUS).
Kim made his PGA Tour debut in the 2022-2023 season after earning Rookie of the Year honors on the Conferi Tour, the PGA’s second-tier tour.
A fourth-place finish at the ShrinersChildren Open last October was his only top-10 finish in 32 events over the course of a full season.
Kim, who finished 83rd in the FedExCup standings and missed the playoffs, is looking to use the Fall Series as a springboard to the 2024 season.
After picking up his first birdie of the day on the third (par-4), Kim calmly made birdie putts on the fourth (par-4) and fifth (par-5) after his second and third shots landed in the fringe, respectively.
After birdieing the ninth (par-4), Kim hit an iron shot from 106 yards out for eagle on the 14th (par-4) that rolled down the slope of the green and into the hole.
Kim dropped a birdie putt of about 11 meters on the 17th (par-3).
After the first round, Kim said, “My irons and putting were a little off, but I think I found my groove after practicing last week. My driver is also hitting well,” he said, adding, “I hope to play well on the remaining days with the same focus as today.”
Kang carded six birdies without a bogey to finish in a tie for third place (6-under 66) with Kelly Kraft and Jason Duffner (USA).
The one-time Tour winner has made six cuts in 15 events in the 2022-2023 season, with his best finish being a tie for 14th at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Bae made five birdies and is tied for ninth (5-under 67) with Satoshi Kodaira (JPN), Kevin Strillman and Justin Lowery (USA).
Bae, who has two wins on Tour, has missed the cut five times in seven events in the 2022-2023 season. His best finish was a tie for 43rd at the AT&T Byron Nelson in May.
“I should have kept playing, but I was demoralized because I hadn’t played for a while,” said the 2014 winner of the event (then called the Price.com Open). “I practiced in a good mood using the memories of winning, and I think that gave me an advantage on the course.”
Lee is tied for 35th (2-under 70) and Noh Seung-yeol is tied for 105th (1-over 73).
Justin Thomas (USA), who missed the playoffs for the first time at No. 71 in the FedExCup standings, finished the first day in a tie for 20th (3-under par 69).
Max Homa (USA), looking for his third straight victory, slipped to a tie for 35th (2-under 70).
The PGA Tour kicks off its fall series with this tournament, which includes seven official and three unofficial events through December. 스포츠토토