NORTON, Mass. — Tiger Woods had his lowest opening round in three years Friday in the Deutsche Bank Championship. It still wasn’t enough to be low man in Sean Foley’s coaching stable.
Seung-yul Noh, a rising star from South Korea in his first season on the PGA Tour, ran off four consecutive birdies early in his round and closed with back-to-back birdies on the TPC Boston for 9-under-par 62.
That gave him a one-shot lead over Chris Kirk, a former Georgia golfer whose 23 putts included an eagle on the new 18th hole.
Woods wasn’t too shabby. He stirred up a big gallery on a glorious summer day in New England with six consecutive birdies, which featured four putts of at least 12 feet and flop shot executed so perfectly that it cleared a steep bunker and landed in an area of the green no larger than a hula hoop. His lone bogey on the final hole gave him 7-under 64, putting him in a three-way tie for third with Jeff Overton and Ryan Moore.
Noh stole the show, even if hardly anyone was paying attention or was not really sure who he was.
“Some people say Kevin Na, like, ‘Go Kevin,’” Noh said.
The 21-year-old from South Korea won his first Asian Tour title at age 17, and he chose to come to America this year to ease his travel. He made it through Q-school in December, and on Friday turned in his strongest PGA Tour round to date.
“Everything good today,” Noh said.
EUROPEAN TOUR: In Crans-Sur-Sierre, Switzerland, Frenchman Julien Quesne birdied his final four holes for 6-under-par 65 to take the lead in the European Masters.
Quesne, who started his round on No. 10, is at 9-under 133.
He’s one ahead of Danny Willett (67-67) and two in front of Paul Lawrie (69-66).
David Howell (66-70), Marcus Fraser (68-68), Robert Coles (66-70) and Tommy Fleetwood (70-66) are three shots behind.
Former Augusta State golfer Scott Jamieson shot 69-75–144 and is expected to miss the cut, which is projected at 142 after the final two groups complete their second round this morning. The round was delayed by fog.
WEB.COM TOUR: In Canonsburg, Pa., Brad Fritsch fired 7-under-par 64 at Southpointe Golf Club to take the 36-hole lead in the Mylan Classic.
Fritsch, who is at 12-under 130, has a one-shot lead over Cliff Kresge (65 on Friday) and is two up on Casey Wittenberg (67), who is seeking his third win of the season. If he gets it, he’ll be promoted immediately to the PGA Tour.
Aiken’s Kevin Kisner is seven shots off the lead after 71 left him at 137.
Aiken native Matt Hendrix (70-71–141) and North Augusta’s Scott Brown (72-71–143) missed the cut, which fell at 140.