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Si Woo Kim (left) and Tom Kim walk along the fairway at the ninth hole during the first round of the Shriners Children’s Open. Photo: AP

PGA Tour: Si Woo Kim leads way as Korean quartet set pace at Shriners Children’s Open

  • Si Woo Kim fires 7-under 64 to lie one back of first round leader Tom Hoge at TPC Summerlin
  • Tom Kim, Sungjae Im and S.H. Kim shoot matching 65s to sit in tie for fourth place
PGA Tour

Si Woo Kim led the way as a Korean quartet set a blistering pace in the first round of the Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Kim, who was joined by Presidents Cup teammates Sungjae Im and Tom Kim, and rookie S.H. Kim, fired a stellar 7-under 64 to lie one back of first round leader Tom Hoge at TPC Summerlin.

Seeking a fourth PGA Tour victory, the 27-year-old rattled in eight birdies to offset a lone bogey.

Defending champion Im, who won by four strokes last season after a final round 62, rising star Tom Kim and rookie S.H. Kim made it a glorious day for the Koreans by registering matching 65s to tie for the fourth place.

China’s Carl Yuan of China opened his week with a 68, one ahead of Korea’s Byeong Hun An and Taiwan’s Kevin Yu.

Si Woo was delighted with his start after hitting 11 fairways and 15 greens in regulation. He also did not miss a single putt from inside of 10 feet.

“Everything was feeling great this morning, the green conditions were great which helped me with the putting. I like to play early always.”

Playing alongside Max Homa and Tom Kim, Si Woo said the atmosphere this week compared to the Presidents Cup was entirely different.

“There was so much tension and so much pressure on the Presidents Cup week,” he said. “So now like too much calm and less pressure.”

Im said he was glad to have overcome a tough start before getting his day going.

“I had tee shot misses and as in second shots, the iron contact was not very good which gave me some hard time,” he said. “But as I proceed to back nine, I had some good shots and putting was getting into the right spot. I think I had a decent round overall.

“This course, players are able to make many birdies if we have good shots. So I will be focusing on driver shots and short shots. I will give my best tomorrow.”