Kim Si-woo on Thursday reeled off five birdies in a six-hole stretch en route to the first-round lead at the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.
Kim's already established and significant credentials on the PGA Tour include a victory at the 2017 Players Championship and while his most recent starts had not suggested a showing of this sort he opened with a round of 66 yesterday to lead by one and now has a considerable margin heading into the weekend.
Graeme McDowell, who won for the first time since 2015 last week at the PGA Tour's event in the Dominican Republic, has shot consecutive 69s and is joined at 6 under by Scott Brown, Hank Lebioda, Ryan Moore and Jhonattan Vegas.
Kim's ace at the 167-yard 16th bounced up toward the flagstick, landed next to the lip of the cup and dropped in.
"I was trying to hit to the left edge of the bunker, with the wind", Kim said.
"If I'm reading (the greens) good I can putt well", he said. "I'm not looking to be validated or not validated, I'm just looking for progress".
Fowler was one shot back until his second-last hole at the eighth, where he tallied a bogey at the par five.
Fowler had looked poised to grab a share of the lead after moving to nine under alongside Kim with five holes to play.
Conners has yet to win at the highest level, and is so low on the tour's pecking order that he had to run the gauntlet of a Monday qualifier - competing for four spots - just to get into the Texas Open. "That could certainly serve me well not only to the rest of this tournament, but as we look in the next few weeks".
Attempting to thwart Kim s hopes of pocketing the $1.35 million victor s cheque are a chasing pack which includes Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler. He wrapped it up with a 22-foot birdie putt at 16 and a 15-footer at 17 before he reached the green in two at the downwind 607-yard finishing hole. Today was the best I've played under pressure in a little while.
A hole-in-one helped Si Woo Kim to open up a four-shot lead after the second round of the Valero Texas Open, with Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler among the chasing pack.
"So normally the better results come from the club starting to feel more in control".
Charley Hoffman lines up his putt on the 14th hole during the third round of the Texas Open golf tournament, Saturday, April 6, 2019, in San Antonio.