MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — They’re not the biggest names on the PGA Tour, But Si Woo Kim and J.J. Spaun sit at the top of the leader board through 18 holes.
Kim, a three time PGA Tour winner, set the nine-hole record on the back nine at TPC Southwind with a 7-under 28.
He would birdie five of the last nine, not including a 168-yard eagle from the fairway to close out his 62.
“I just decided to change the putting grip, so I think that makes more feel comfortable,” Kim said. “I think that’s why a couple putt on the back nine and I got confidence, keep going through.”
Spaun’s bogey-free 62 tying his best round on tour, birding four straight in the middle of his round, but always keeping focused on the very next shot.
“The weird thing about golf is you don’t want to get too far ahead and I think that’s what I did great today,” said Spaun. “We tried to focus on every hole and every shot.”
And not only was Spaun on fire on the course, he was scorching from the sun. After days of rain at Southwind, the sun came out and entered that Memphis heat that we all know and love.
“I’m hot, figuratively and literally,” Spaun laughed.
Spaun and Kim were hoping to enter day two with a two-stroke lead, but Sahith Theegala had other plans.
Theegala, one of the five rookies in the top 40 of the FedEx cup standings, carded one of his seven birdies on his closing hole. That put Theegala at 7 under, good enough for solo second.
“It’s probably my best driving round of the year,” said Theegala. “I might have hit, I’m going to guess I hit 11 or 12 fairways and these fairways are pretty tight. Hopefully, just keep my head down and keep driving like that.”
A quartet of players sit -6, tied for 4th. JT Poston making the turn at -4 thanks to a birdie on 18.
Tony Finau’s had the hot hand thanks to back-to-back PGA tournament wins.
“My biggest thing last week was just to stay sharp, which I did,” said Finau. “I played every day, I didn’t really miss a day. I just wanted to play golf and make sure that I was going to be as sharp as I could.”
Finau finished with eight birdies on the day.