Potomac, MD – Seventeen-year-old Si Woo Kim and Tim Petrovic both fired 5-under 65s on Thursday to share the lead through the opening round of the Mid-Atlantic Championship.
Kim earned his PGA Tour card a Q-school last year, but he can't become a member until his 18th birthday on June 28. The high school student countered six birdies against a lone bogey on Thursday and grabbed the early lead at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.
Play was briefly suspended due to inclement weather, but Petrovic charged into the lead after the break. The 46-year-old reached 6-under with back-to-back birdies from the 12th, but he bogeyed the last to drop into a tie with the young man 29 years his junior.
Chesson Hadley, Brett Stegmaier and Gavin Coles are knotted in third place after opening-round 66s, while Bronson La'Cassie, Hudson Swafford, Jim Herman, Andres Gonzales and Sung Kang are tied for sixth following matching 67s.
The Web.com Tour's top-two money leaders are in the field this week, though neither faired particularly well on Thursday. Top-ranked Michael Putnam, coming off a victory at the Mexico Championship, carded a 1-over 71, while No. 2 Edward Loar, who won the Chitimacha Louisiana Open earlier in the season, posted a 72.
Kim, currently a student at Shinsung High School in Seoul, South Korea, began his sparkling opening round with a birdie on the 10th. He played bogey-free over his outward nine, adding gains at Nos. 15 and 18 and making the turn at 3-under.
Consecutive birdies from the par-5 second moved Kim to 5-under before he stumbled to a bogey at No. 7. The teenager rebounded, however, playing the par-3 ninth in two deft shots to hit the clubhouse with the lead.
Petrovic, whose lone PGA Tour win came at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in 2005, opened with a par on No. 1 before reeling off four straight birdies from the second. The run came to a sudden halt with a bogey at the sixth, but the veteran bounced back with a birdie at the eighth and a par at the ninth for an outward 31.
Back-to-back gains from the 12th had Petrovic in sole possession of the lead at 6-under, but after a stretch of pars, he tripped to a bogey at the par-4 18th and dropped into a tie with Kim.
NOTES: Kim missed the cut at this year's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-am in his first-ever start on the PGA Tour ... Putnam currently tops the money list with $246,234 in earnings. Loar trails by $24,876 ... Last year, David Lingmerth fired a 4-under 66 in the final round in damp, chilly conditions to rally and win for the first time on the Web.com Tour. He is be on hand to defend his title, as he earned his PGA Tour card for 2013 by finishing 10th on the 2012 Web.com Tour money list.