Choi leads after first day at PGA Champions Sanford International

Kyung-ju “Tank” Choi, 53, of South Korea, shot an 8-under par on the first day of the U.S. Professional Golf (PGA) Champions Tour Sanford International ($2 million purse) to finish tied for the lead with Steve Stricker (USA).

Choi carded nine birdies and one bogey for an 8-under 62 in the first round of the event at Minnehaha Country Club (par 70, 6729 yards) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA, on Saturday. Will be trying to make it two wins in a row on the Senior Tour, which features players 50 and older, after winning at Pebble Beach three years ago.

After dropping a stroke with a bogey on the front three, Choi recovered with back-to-back birdies on the fourth and fifth holes and birdied again on the seventh. Three consecutive birdies on the back nine propelled her to the top of the leaderboard, and she ended the day on a high note with another three straight birdies from the 14th hole.

Choi’s driver distance of 287.5 yards on the day was good enough to rank 33rd, and she hit greens in regulation on every hole. His putts per hole average of 1.67 also ranked ninth.

Stryker also tied Choi with nine birdies and one bogey. However, a bogey on the 17th hole cost him the lead. David Toms (USA) shot seven under par and is in a tie for third place, one shot off the lead with Alex Cheka (GER), Darren Clarke (NOR) and Rocco Mediatt (USA).안전놀이터

Changsoo Wee, 51, who qualified after Tom Lehman withdrew, shot a 5-under 65 to finish in a tie for eighth with Joe Durant (USA). Bernhard Langer (GER), the reigning Champions Tour record holder, is tied for 22nd at 3-under, while Yong-Eun Yang (52) is two shots back in a tie for 36th.

The second round of the tournament, which features three South Korean players in contention for the title, will be broadcast live on Sunday, July 17, starting at 5 a.m. on JTBC Golf & Sports Channel.

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