Four Nations Top The Leaderboard Day One At Hero World Challenge


…. Albany, The Bahamas

There are four nations represented atop of the leaderboard after the opening round of the Hero World Challenge here at the Bahamas.

South Korean Tom Kim, Austrian Sepp Straka, Norway’s and defending champ Vicktor Hovland and newly-married Collin Morrikawa share the lead in the $US 3m event with three-under par 69s on a very rain-softended host Albany course.

American Sam Burns is fifth at two-under and with three others, in posting 71s, the only players among the 20 to break par under a ‘preferred lie’ rule due to the softness of the course.

Kim, and out in the first group, capped his bogey-free round with birdies and 11, 14 and the last, and with the 20-year-old, and making his tournament debut coming off a superb PGA Tour season in winning twice.

“The course was definitely playing really soft,” said Kim.  “With the wind it played really long really. You know, I think it’s definitely, it definitely dried up from yesterday, but definitely playing pretty soft out there”.

Hovland brilliantly capped his round holing his second shot for a ‘2’ at the par-4 14th hole, so much so, he’s now eagled the hole four times in the times he’s played the touranment.

“Yeah, it was good. A little windy and the practice rounds have been very calm. I was a little frustrated in the practice rounds, I really couldn’t flight the ball and the ball just went nowhere because I was spinning it so much,” said Hovland.

“So I wasn’t feeling too good about today when it started blowing, but as soon as I just kind of got started, yeah, I just got into golf mode and started flighting it a little bit and hit some nice iron shots,”

And in speaking of his fifth tournament eagle ‘2’ at the 14th Hovland said:  “I like kind of drivable holes because when I’m hitting my driver well, I feel like I can be pretty aggressive.

“And that green obviously is not the biggest green, but with how soft it is, if you land it on the green, you can keep it on the green whereas if it was really firm, you kind of have to land it up in the slope and stuff

“Yeah, I just think with how it’s playing, usually it’s into the wind and you can kind of just land something on there, but obviously, yeah, you’re not supposed to make four out of five eagles there”.


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