Yang, Fowler lead in Korea

Home

YE Yang and Rickie Fowler both shot rounds of four-under-par 67 to share the lead after the first round of the Korea Open.

YE Yang and Rickie Fowler both shot rounds of four-under-par 67 to share the lead after the first round of the Korea Open.

Yang, the first Asian man to win a major when he triumphed at the 2009 US PGA Championship, is the defending champion is this event after overturning a 10-stroke deficit in the final round last year when winning his second Korea Open.

“I started with a birdie which helped a lot,” Yang said after his round. “I think 12 or 13 under par will win it and I’m sure I can be there or thereabouts.”

Fowler, last year’s Rookie of the Year on the PGA Tour, is still chasing his first professional victory. He was pleased with his performance off the tee, but was less happy with his showing on the par fives, which he played in a collective two over par.

“I drove the ball well which is important. I made a few birdies, but I didn’t play the par fives as well as I had hoped,” said the 22-year-old.

“I hit poor drives on those holes and on this course you have to drive the ball well to score.

“The score would have been really low if I had played them better.”

Lurking only one shot off the lead at the Woo Jeong Hills Country Club in Cheonan is US Open champion Rory McIlroy, who carded a 68 in Thursday’s windy conditions.

McIlroy is tied with Hong Soon-sang and amateur Lee Soo-min.

The Northern Irishman could have had a much better round but for a couple of costly errors.

He found the water at the 11th for a double-bogey six, and also ambitiously tried to drive the final green, leading to another bogey.

He promised to keep his attacking mindset for the remainder of the tournament, however.

“I started nicely. I was three under through nine holes,” he said. “The shot on 11 was just a bad shot, while on 18 the wind just grabbed it. I was aggressive, sure, but I want to play aggressively.”

Latest