Korean duo Si Woo Kim and Byeong Hun An produced solid starts with matching 3-under 67s at the Charles Schwab Challenge golf tournament for a share of seventh position, five back of runaway first-round leader, Harry Hall of England.
The 27-year-old Kim, who is ranked 11th on the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup points list, opened with three consecutive birdies from the 10th to 12th holes on Thursday before trading two more birdies against as many bogeys in the US$8.7 million PGA TOUR event at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
An, chasing a first PGA Tour win, also got out of the blocks quickly with birdies on Hole Nos. 11, 12, 13 and 14 before picking up another shot on the first hole. However, he dropped bogeys on the fourth and sixth holes to join Kim in a 15-way tie for seventh place who including world No. 1 and last year’s runner-up Scottie Scheffler and defending champion Sam Burns.
Another Korean, K.H. Lee was the next best Asian performer after a 68, while Marty Zecheng Dou of China, fresh from a career firs top-10 at the AT&T Byron Nelson two weeks ago, is a further two shots back, according to a report on the PGA website.
Si Woo Kim has every reason to be satisfied with his solid start on a course he has never made the cut (2019-2021). The winner of January’s Sony Open in Hawaii was quick to acknowledge the importance of keeping the ball in the fairway if he is to make a strong push for his fifth PGA TOUR career victory.
An, a former U.S. Amateur champion, knows he must keep his foot on the pedal. In his last two appearances here in 2020 and 2021, he also opened with a 67 but ended the week in T60 and T50 respectively.
The day clearly belonged to Hall, a two-time Korn Ferry Tour winner, whose brilliant 8-under 62 saw him lead by three strokes from Harris English. Four players – Tom Hoge, Adam Schenk, Robby Shelton and Andrew Putnam – are a further stroke back on 4-under.