Tiger Woods fired his lowest round in nearly two years to answer a career-low course record by defending champion Anthony Kim and produce a sizzling start to the PGA National on Thursday.
Kim, inspired to play golf by fist-pumping idol Woods, fired an eight-under par 62 at rain-softened Congressional Country Club for a two-stroke lead on fellow Americans Woods, D.A. Points and Bryce Molder.
Tournament host Woods sank seven birdies, his longest a 48-footer at the second hole, in 27 putts on the way to his 64, the 14-time major champion’s best round since the 2007 PGA Tour Championship some 22 months ago.
■OWENS CORNING CLASSIC
AFP, SYLVANIA, OHIO
South Korea’s Kim Song-hee shot a seven-under 64 to seize a share of the lead after the opening round of the LPGA Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.
Americans Laura Diaz and Morgan Pressel also shot 64s on the Highland Meadows Golf Club on Thursday.
Taiwan’s Candie Kung and Yani Tseng were in a group at 68, while compatriot Amy Hung followed in a group at 71.
AFP, VERSAILLES, FRANCE
Rising German star Martin Kaymer set a blistering pace in the first round of the 4 million-euro (US$5.6 million) French Open at Le Golf National on Thursday.
The 24-year-old Kaymer from Dusseldorf was The European PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2007. He chipped in for an eagle at the par-five third and added eight birdies en route to a 62, equaling the course record set by Argentina’s Eduardo Romero in 2005.
It was one of the finest rounds on the European PGA Tour this year and put him three strokes clear of a quintet comprising John Bickerton of England, Rafa Echenique of Argentina, Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand, Scott Strange of Australia and Peter Hanson of Sweden.