It appears that An Byeong-form hun’s improved after he returned to one of his favorite PGA Tour courses.
The 31-year-old Korean, who tied for 35th at last week’s The Players Championship, shot a bogey-free 3-under 68 on Thursday at Innisbrook Golf Resort’s Copperhead Course to sit two shots back following the first round of the Valspar Championship.
With the hope of claiming his first Tour victory, An kept pace with the leaders, Ryan Brehm, Adam Schenk, and Stephan Jaeger, who all shot 66, with birdies on Holes No. 5, 10, and 17. Brehm, the only member of the trio to record a hole-in-one, used a 7-iron to ace the par-3 17th hole. This was Brehm’s first career ace.
Valspar Champion An Byeong-hun
Similarly, An’s compatriot Kim Seong-hyeon had a 71 and is tied for 32nd with China’s Zecheng Dou, who had a tumultuous round until closing with two consecutive birdies. Lee Kyoung-hoon, also of Korea, shot a 74 to tie for T58 with Carl Yuan of China.
According to sports betting odds experts, Jordan Spieth shot a 67 and is tied for fourth, and Justin Thomas had a 69 in his first round, making them two of the tournament’s biggest draws.
Formerly a top-50 player, An now hopes to win the event for the first time since 2002 and join the ranks of Korean superstar K.J. Choi, who won it twice prior. The absence of bogeys on this course is much appreciated. I shot a respectable short game. I putted well enough to get several pars. Says An, “I gave myself a lot of compliments, and I was pleased with my score of 3-under.
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