PGA Tour

South Korean duo An, Im set early Wyndham Championship pace

An Byeong-hun (Getty)
An Byeong-hun (Getty)

Miami - South Korean duo An Byeong-hun and Im Sung-jae set the early pace at the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship on Thursday, both carding eight-under-par 62s to share the first round lead.

An and Im both played flawless rounds to move one shot clear atop the leaderboard after a low-scoring first round at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina.

An reeled off eight birdies and 10 pars in a bogey-free start to his latest attempt to win a maiden PGA Tour title.

The 27-year-old from Seoul has twice lost in playoffs on the PGA Tour, being beaten in the 2016 Zurich Classic before losing out to Bryson DeChambeau in a three-way playoff at Memorial last year.

On Thursday, An's short game worked beautifully, helping him carve out a series of birdie chances which he duly converted.

A solid start saw him reach the turn at four under, before a hat-trick of birdies on the 13th, 14th and 15th holes vaulted him up the leaderboard. The highlight came on the par-four 14th, when he holed out from 37 feet for birdie.

A further birdie on the 17th took him to eight under.

"Four under on the front, four under on the back, it was definitely a good finish," An said.

"It was pretty solid all day."

The 21-year-old Im, meanwhile, who is also chasing a first PGA Tour win after two victories in 2018 on the Tour, matched An virtually shot-for-shot with his 62, which also comprised eight birdies and 10 pars.

Im, who started on the back nine, birdied two of his final three holes to grab a share of the lead.

Im and An are one shot clear of four players tied for third on 63 - Canada's Mackenzie Hughes, South African-born Slovakian Rory Sabbatini and Patrick Rodgers and Johnson Wagner, both of the United States.

Former world number one Jordan Spieth and Brandt Snedeker are lurking in a cluster of nine players on 64, two off the lead.

Spieth's round included six birdies and an eagle, and the American would have had a share of the lead had it not been for bogeys on the 12th and 18th holes.

The highlight of Spieth's round was his eagle at the par-five 15th. A superb approach shot got him onto the green in two, and he then buried a 19-foot par for a three.

Another scintillating approach shot set him up for a birdie on the 17th, drilling an iron from 148 yards to three feet for a tap-in.

Eleven players, including England's Paul Casey and Scotland's Martin Laird, are a further shot back.

Leading first-round scores at the PGA Tour's Wyndham Championship on Thursday at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina (par 70; USA unless stated)

62 - An Byeong-hun (KOR), Im Sung-jae (KOR)

63 - Mackenzie Hughes (CAN), Rory Sabbatini (SVK), Patrick Rodgers, Johnson Wagner

64 - Josh Teater, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Brice Garnett, Seamus Power (IRL), Ryan Armour, Ted Potter Jr, Jordan Spieth, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA)

65 - Martin Laird (SCO), Joel Dahmen, J.T. Poston, Sepp Straka (AUT), Denny McCarthy, Kyle Stanley, Matthew Wolff, Andrew Landry, Paul Casey (ENG), Patton Kizzire, Bud Cauley

66 - Bill Haas, Tom Hoge, Roberto Castro, Satoshi Kodaira (JPN), Austin Cook, Kim Si-woo (KOR), Chez Reavie, Harold Varner III, Viktor Hovland (NOR), Brady Schnell, Alex Prugh, Brian Stuard, Shawn Stefani, Cameron Smith (AUS), Collin Morikawa, Martin Kaymer (GER), Charles Howell III, Zach Sucher, Cameron Davis (AUS)

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