So. Korean Noh fires 62, leads Deutsche Bank by one
Norton, MA, United States (4E Sports) – PGA Tour rookie Seung-Yul Noh of South Korea fired a bogey-free, 9-under-par 62 to grab a one-stroke lead Friday in the opening round of the Deutsche Bank Championship.
The 21-year-old South Korean buried five birdies in the front nine and added four in the back nine of the par-71, 7,216-yard TPC Boston to finish one stroke ahead of American Chris Kirk, who made a clutch 12-footer on the final hole to preserve his 63.
“Swing, putting – everything great today. So happy for today,” said Noh, in his 38th start on the PGA Tour with three top 10s. The 62 is also just one shy of the low score by any player this year.
“Golf is playing 72 holes, so plenty of holes left. Pretty good spot for those last two birdies, but feels not much different,” added Noh, whose round was one shot off the course record set by Vijay Singh in 2006 and equaled by Mike Weir two years later.
The South Korean was two strokes clear of his childhood idol Tiger Woods, who fired a seven-under-par 64 and briefly held the lead before Noh’s late charge.
“I hit a lot of good shots and on top of that, I putted well at the same time. It was a nice little combination,” said Woods, who is tied for third with Jeff Overton and Noh’s playing partner Ryan Moore.
“It’s always nice to be playing next to another guy making putts,” Moore said of Noh. “You’re seeing them go in, kind of makes that hole a little bigger sometimes.”
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy started with a bogey but made seven birdies the rest of the way to settle for a 65, ending up in a tie for 6th with Bryce Molder.
“I definitely didn’t drive the ball the way I wanted to,” said McIlroy, who only hit four fairways. “I drove it great last week at Bethpage and didn’t putt so well but this week it seems like I didn’t drive it so good today but putted well.
Tied for 8th at 66 were John Senden and Louis Oosthuizen while Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Dustin Johnson, Charley Hoffman, Jonas Blixt, David Hearn and Jason Dufner were tied for 10th, five strokes behind Noh.