Kim Aces Way to 4-Shot Lead in Texas

Si Woo Kim has aced every test through two rounds of the Valero Texas Open.

The 23-year-old South Korean made a hole in one on the 16th hole and pulled off several gutsy par saves while carding a second straight 6-under-par 66 to build a four-stroke lead over six players on the AT&T Oaks Course at TPC San Antonio

“I saw the bounce, but I never (saw) it go in,” said Kim, who has won twice on the PGA Tour career, including the 2017 Players Championship. “I’m (always) playing (to) draw the ball, but the pin’s tight right. I’m just trying start left edge of the right bunker. Hit it like really good and then wind’s kind of coming in. Perfect number, too. … Never this loud.”

As for taking a four-shot lead to the weekend, Kim said: “ … I always try to win.”

Kim, who collected four birdies in his bogey-free round, finished 36 holes at 12-under 132.

Eighth-ranked Rickie Fowler of Murrieta sank a four-foot eagle putt on the fifth hole en route to a second 68 and is tied for second with Jordan Spieth (68), who holed out from 113 yards for an eagle at No. 8, Harold Varner III (66), Kyoung-Hoon Lee (67) of South Korea, Adam Schenk (66) and Corey Conners (67) of Canada.

“It was a nice round and I’m happy with it,” said Fowler, who is using the tournament as on-course preparation for the Masters next week after taking two weeks off following The Players Championship. “I hit a lot of good shots and made some putts.

“I gave one away at 16, but that’s going to happen sometimes. I made a good birdie at 17 and finished with a nice save at 18 after hitting into the creek.”

Spieth said of his eagle: “I had a really good number, it looked good in the air and I thought it would be within 10 feet of the hole, but it was a bonus for it to drop.”

Rory Sabbatini of Slovakia shot 68 and is five shots back in a tie for eighth with Josh Teater (68), Matt Jones (68) of Australia, Scott Stallings (69), Byeong Hun An (68) of South Korea, Jim Knous (67) and Brian Stuard (70).

Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, who won the Corales Puntacana Championship last week, recorded a second 69 and is one more stroke down in a tie for 15th with Jhonattan Vegas (71) of Venezuela, Ryan Moore (70), Scott Brown (67) and Hank Lebioda (70).

Defending champion Andrew Landry struggled to a 74 and missed the cut by two strokes.

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