Byeong Hun An of South Korea had a longer than normal day on the golf course, but when it was over he was leading the Sanderson Farms Championship at the Country Club of Jackson https://www.ccjackson.com in Jackson, Miss.
The 27-year-old An, who was on the course with seven holes remaining when rain washed out the rest of the first round on Thursday, played his last 18 holes of the day in a second straight 6-under-par 66 to take a two-stroke lead over Tom Hoge, rookie Scottie Scheffler, J.T. Poston and George McNeil midway through the second event of the new season.
“I had seven holes left and I hit the ball well most of the day, except for hitting one ball in the water,” said An, who has three pro victories, but none on the PGA Tour. “Other than that, I hit the ball well and made some putts.
“The greens were soft and very receptive, so you’re definitely going to see a lot of birdies, but if the wind starts to pick up, it might get tougher. I just want to keep playing well on the weekend.
“It’s my fourth year and I don’t have a win yet, but I know it’s coming and this week would be great.”
An, who has twice lost in playoffs on the PGA Tour, made five birdies in a span of six holes in his first 66, and then started his second round with four straight birdies before making his only bogey while posting a 36-hole total of 12-under 132.
Hoge, who led by one stroke after a first-round 64, had to sink a six-foot birdie putt on the eighth hole while finishing on the front nine to salvage a 70 and earn a share of the tie for second, while Scheffler birdied five of the first six holes and two of the last four while following a 68 with a 66.
McNeil followed a 68 with a 67 that included five birdies on the front nine, and Poston struggled a bit after a 64 with a 70 that included four birdies on his back nine.
Cameron Percy of Australia was 2-under for the round and 9-under for the tournament through 11 holes when darkness halted play for the day, leaving him three strokes back in solo fifth, while Carlos Ortiz of Mexico and Harris English both shot 71 and were one more behind in a tie for seventh with Seamus Power of Ireland, who opened with a 65 and was 1-under through 11 when the end came.
Shawn Stefani posted a 65 and was five strokes back in a big tie for 10th with Sebastian Munoz of Columbia (67), Dominic Bozzelli (67), Garrett Osborn (67), Richy Werenski (68), Sungjae Im of South Korea (69), Robert Streb (72) and two-time major champion Zach Johnson, who was 2-under for the round through 17 holes.
Scott Stallings, who won this tournament in 2012, was tied for 21st after a 72, defending champion Cameron Champ of Sacramento also totaled 72 and was in a tie for 42nd that included 2016 champ Peter Malnati, who had a 70 and Joaquin Niemann of Chile, 20, the winner last week at the Greenbrier, who was even for the day after 16 holes after opening with a 68.
Bill Haas, the 2010 winner, wound up at 70-71 and was right on the cut-line in a tie for 58th.
Lucas Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, shot 72 and seemed to be on his way to missing the cut along with 2017 Sanderson Farms winner Ryan Armour (73-70), 2006 champion D.J. Trahan (72, 1-under through 14), 2007 winner Chad Campbell (73-71) and 2015 champ Nick Taylor of Canada (74, even through 14).
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