Sunghoon Kang of South Korea and Californian John Mallinger share the lead after rounds of 9-under 63 Thursday at the News Sentinel Open.
Mallinger’s round included an eagle, seven birdies and 10 pars. His opening 63 matches his career-lowest opening round set in 2008 at the Frys.com Open on the PGA Tour.
Kang, who made nine birdies, is making just his third start on the Nationwide Tour this season. His opening 63 betters his previous career-low round by one.
Brian Bateman, Kevin Kisner and Garrett Willis are one back after posting 64s. Paul Claxton and Australian Nathan Green are two off the pace at -under.
Six players are tied at 6-under 66, including 1999 champion Jeff Gove.
Matthew Richardson of Woodbridge, Ont., is the top Canadian after opening with a 69. Jon Mills of Belleville, Ont., sits at 71 while Richard T. Lee of Vancouver carded an even par 72. Chris Baryla of Vernon, B.C., making just his fifth Nationwide start of the season, slumped to a 74.
Two-time PGA Tour winner Boo Weekley made his first start on the Nationwide Tour since 2006, opening with a 2-under 70.
John Daly, who is playing on a sponsor’s exemption, notched five birdies and three bogeys en route to a 70 as well.
The average winning score in the 21-year history of the event has been 17.1 strokes under par and Thursday’s scoring average of 70.442 was the third lowest first-round average in tournament history.Report Typo/Error