Washington: South Korea’s Kang Sung-hoon fired six birdies in a row on his way to a bogey-free 10-under par 61 on Friday to grab a four-stroke lead in the second round of the US PGA Byron Nelson tournament.
Kang, seeking his first US PGA title, stood on 16-under 126 after 36 holes at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas, four strokes ahead of Matt Every and Tyler Duncan, who shot a 65 and 66 respectively. Aided by cool early conditions, the Dallas resident opened with a birdie, his approach at the par-five first landing inches from the cup.
“It was perfect and awesome,” Kang said. “I live in Dallas, about 30 minutes from the golf course, and I’ve never seen weather like this in May. I knew it was going to be cold and windy so I really tried to prepare for how far the ball was going to go this morning and it worked out great.”
Kang began his run of six birdies in a row at the par-four fifth, landing his approach inches from the cup. He sank a six-foot birdie putt at the sixth and one half as long at the par-five seventh.
He followed with a birdie from seven feet at the par-three seventh, another from six feet at the ninth and capped the run by sinking a 21-foot birdie putt to begin the back nine.
“I just tried to keep it in play,” Kang said. “There are some par-fives so we can make some birdies and some short par-threes. I just tried to take advantage of those holes and miss it in the right spots. I missed it in the right spots where I needed to miss it and it worked out great.”
Kang, who fired a 60 at Pebble Beach in 2016, added birdie putts from 18 feet at the par-four 13th, 12 feet at the par-five 14th and 11 feet at the par-four 16th. But he wasn’t thinking about finishing with two more birdies to shoot 59.
“I hadn’t thought about 59,” he said. “I thought it was pretty far away until I finished.”
Kang was just short on a 25-foot birdie putt at the par-three 17th and needed to sink a 14-footer to save par at 18.
American Brooks Koepka fired a 66 and is alone in third while Rory Sabbatini has sole possession of fourth after shooting a 65.
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo shot a three-over 73 in the second round and missed the cut. Romo played better on Friday than the first round when he stumbled to a five-over 76.