C.T. Pan

Chinese Taipei’s C.T. Pan holed out from 32 yards for an eagle en route to a flawless 8-under 63 to grab a share of the second round lead at the John Deere Classic on Friday.

The 32-year-old Pan, who won the 2019 RBC Heritage for his sole PGA TOUR victory, pitched in for a two on the par-4 14th hole at TPC Deere Run to post his best score of the season, complemented by six earlier birdies.

His 14-under 128 saw him end the day tied with Aaron Rai of England, who fired a matching 63 featuring eight birdies.

The pair lead by two strokes from England’s Harry Hall (66), while Korean star Sungjae Im also powered into contention following a superb 64 to be tied for fourth with five others, including overnight leader Hayden Springer on 130. 

Pan’s Paris 2024 Olympic Games-bound compatriot Kevin Yu also delivered an impressive 63, improving 57 places for joint 10th. Yu chalked up 10 birdies, seven of which came on the back nine, offset by two bogeys.

Pan was in awe of himself after claiming his first 36-hole lead/co-lead on TOUR on a windy day.

“I’m actually impressed by myself. It’s pretty tough out there when the wind picks up to 15, 20 mph. It’s been a while since I shot 63, so this has been a good week so far,” said Pan, whose effort was one shot shy of his career-best 62 during the final round of the CJ CUP Byron Nelson last year.

This is his fourth appearance at the John Deere Classic, with a T24 finish in 2022 being his best showing. The impressive performance at TPC Deere Run will certainly boost Pan’s confidence ahead of the Olympics where he won the bronze medal in Tokyo three years ago, beating the likes of Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa and Hideki Matsuyama in a seven-way playoff for the podium finish. With only one top-10 finish in 14 appearances—tied for third at the Mexico Open at Vidanta—Pan has garnered just 247 points, placing him 116th in the FedExCup standings. A potential victory this week could propel him into the top 60, securing a place in the top 70 brackets needed to qualify for the FedExCup playoffs.

“When I was a kid, I never thought golf would be one of the sports in the Olympics, and that’s a great bonus for me,” said Pan. “I always want to focus on my conditioning and get my mental state ready for the Olympics. And it would be really cool to perform well at events that only happen once every four years.”

Japan’s Ryo Hisatsune carded a second successive 67 to comfortably progress to the weekend rounds in T32 at 134. He is followed by S.H. Kim of Korea, who shot a 69 to sit one shot further back in T39.

Second-Round Notes – Friday, July 5, 2024 Weather: Mostly cloudy. High of 77. Wind W 15-25 mph. Cut: 76 professionals and one amateur at 5-under 137 from a field of 155 professionals and one amateur. Second-Round Leaderboard

Pos.PlayerR1R2TotalT1C.T. Pan6563128 (-14)T1Aaron Rai6563128 (-14)3Harry Hall6366129 (-13)T4Six players  130 (-12)


- Advertisement -