Kim flirts with 2nd ace, leads by 1 at Texas Open
SAN ANTONIO — Si Woo Kim narrowly missed a second holein-one on consecutive days and saw his four-shot lead trimmed to one over Monday qualifier Corey Conners after Saturday’s third round of the Texas Open.
Kim aced the 16th hole at the TPC San Antonio on Friday, and he missed it by inches on the way to a third-round 3-under 69. He was at 15 under, and Connors, trying to become the first Monday qualifier to win on the PGA Tour since 2010, was a stroke back after shooting a 6-under 66.
Charley Hoffman, the 2016 Texas Open winner, moved up the leaderboard with a birdiebirdie-eagle finish and the week’s best round of 64. He was two back of Kim at 13 under.
Scott Brown turned in a second straight 67, and Jhonattan Vegas also shot 67. Both were at 11 under with Kyoung-Hoon Lee (69).
Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth started the day tied for second, four back. Both finished eight shots out of the lead after ballooning to rounds of 73.
Kim flirted with the 16th hole on the second bounce Saturday. This time, the ball rolled past the hole to inside four feet for what looked like an easy birdie. He missed, Conners made his from inches shorter and they shared the lead again.
But Conners returned the favor on the next hole, missing a birdie from inside seven feet.
Kim, winner of The Players Championship in 2017, got out of a greenside bunker at the par-5 18th and sank a four-foot par to get the one-stroke advantage.
“Yeah, I think about yesterday, like I can’t believe it, and then it was pretty close today, too,” Kim said of the near-ace. “I saw that first bounce, and then I thought it would go in for sure.”
Conners is trying to become the first Monday qualifier to win on the PGA Tour since Arjun Atwal nine years ago. Before that, no one had done it in 24 years.
The 27-year-old was a finalist in the 2014 U.S. Amateur, but he hasn’t won on the PGA Tour or any of its affiliate tours.