(Reuters) - South Korea’s Kim Si-woo claimed sole ownership of the lead at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Saturday, with a hole in one on three highlighting a superb eight-under-par, third-round performance.
Kim (62) said he did not realize at first that he had sunk the ace on the par-three hole as a smattering of cheers echoed around him at the tournament, which he won by five strokes in 2016 and which is being played in the absence of fans this year.
“So I just hit it and then ball goes just right at the pin... and some TV guys told me that’s ace and I was so excited,” said Kim, who won the 2017 Players Championship.
The 25-year-old kept his edge at Sedgefield Country Club, shooting four birdies on the back nine for a two-stroke lead over Americans Rob Oppenheim and Doc Redman, after nearly sinking another ace on 12 that lipped out of the cup.
“Hopefully, tomorrow a little bit of pressure, but I’m going to keep fighting and hopefully get a win,” said Kim, heading into Sunday’s final round at 18 under.
Oppenheim, on the hunt for his first PGA Tour win, shot an eight-under par 62 with an eagle on five and five birdies on the back nine in a near-flawless performance marred only by a bogey on 18, for 16 under.
“Probably, you know, to be honest, one of the better rounds I’ve ever played. I just felt very comfortable. Tee to green was solid and made some putts,” said Oppenheim, who finished ninth at the Puerto Rico Open in February.
Tied with him for second at the Wyndham Championship, the final event of the novel coronavirus-hit regular season, is Redman, who shot a seven-under 63.
American Billy Horschel carded a five-under 65, putting him three back from the lead heading into Sunday, while Jim Herman rocketed up the leaderboard with a nine-under 61 and was tied for fifth with Mark Hubbard (64).
Reporting by Amy Tennery; editing by Clare Fallon
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