Kim’s lead down to one at Valero Open
Will try to go wire-to-wire today
It may have been moving day on Saturday at the Valero Texas Open, but South Korea’s Si Woo Kim stood his ground atop the leaderboard and a fired a 3-under 69 to stand at 15-under 201 after three rounds to hold a one-shot lead over Corey Connors at the par-72 TPC San Antonio course.
Charley Hoffman is two strokes back at 13-under after posting a 64.
The 23-year-old Kim, who led by a shot after the first round and four shots after the second, bobbled at the first with a bogey on the par 4, but recovered with birdies at Nos. 2 and 7 to make the turn at 1 under on the day.
It was a bit more dramatic for Connors, who opened with three straight birdies followed by two more at the fifth and seventh to turn at 5-under 31. The 27-year-old Canadian made bogey at No. 10 – the same time co-leader at the time Kim made birdie – causing a two-shot swing on the leaderboard.
But birdies at 11 and 12 brought Connors back to share the lead with Kim, until a bogey at 15 dropped him from the top spot once again. Connors rebounded with a birdie, making 2 at the par-3 16th to knot it up with Kim.
Kim, attempting to become the first wire-to-wire winner since Brandt Snedeker at the 2018 Wyndham Championship, made birdie on 18 while Connors made par to work his way back into the solo lead.
Connors, who earned his spot in the field in a six-way playoff for one available spot in a Monday qualifier, is attempting to become the first Monday qualifier to win a PGA Tour event since Arjun Atwal at the 2010 Wyndham Championship. It was the third time in six attempts this season that Connors has made it through via Monday qualifying.
He’s made the most of each opportunity: Connors posted a runner-up finish last October at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Miss., a career best, and tied for third at the Sony Open in Hawaii in January. In 10 other PGA Tour starts this season, he’s made the cut just twice.
The 42-year-old Hoffman, a four-time PGA Tour winner, fired the low round of the day with his 8-under trip around the course. He had just one bogey, a 4 at the par-3 13th, but carded seven birdies and finished with an eagle-3 at the par-5 18th to move into lone share of third place.
Scott Brown (67), Venezuela’s Jhonattan Vegas (67) and South Korea’s Kyoung-Hoon Lee (69) are tied for fourth place at 11-under 205.
Texas native Jordan Spieth, former world No. 1 and University of Texas standout, was also in the final group of the day but struggled mightily on the front nine and turned at 6-over 42. His scorecard included bogeys at Nos. 3 and 5, and double bogeys at Nos. 4 and 9. He recovered on the back by shooting a 31 with five birdies, including three straight on 16, 17 and 18, to post a 1-over 73 and is tied for 16th at 7-under 209.
Si Woo Kim watches his shot from the second tee during Saturday’s third round of the Valero Open in San Antonio.