Korea’s Byeong Hun An powered his way into joint fourth place at the halfway stage of the Charles Schwab Challenge on Friday, giving himself a fighting chance for a long-awaited PGA TOUR breakthrough.
An, who is ranked 58th on the FedExCup standings, fired a second-round of 4-under 66 at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas and sits at 7-under 133 tied with four others including world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler.
The 31-year-old Korean trails 36-hole leader, Harry Hall of England by five strokes. TOUR rookie Hall added a 66 after a career-low 62 on Thursday to lead on 12-under and retained his overnight three-shot lead ahead American Harris English (66), while Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo (65) will enter the weekend rounds in third place on 8-under.
An produced another wonderful iron display as he sank five birdies, all from within 13 feet, to offset a lone bogey. The former U.S. Amateur champion, who holds three career runner-up finishes on the PGA TOUR, is seeking to become the third Korean winner this season after Tom Kim and Si Woo Kim triumphed at the Shriners Children’s Open last October and Sony Open in Hawaii in January respectively.
This season, An has enjoyed two top 10s– a T4 at the Fortinet Championship and a T6 at Valero Texas Open.
Si Woo Kim, who shared the seventh place after the first round, slipped to tied 19th after a 70, a position matched by compatriot K.H. Lee who returned a 69. China’s Marty Zecheng Dou, who enjoyed a career first top-10 two weeks ago at the AT&T Byron Nelson, carded a 69 for a share of 39th place.
Harry Hall, 25, reeled in six birdies against two bogeys to stay atop the leaderboard for the second day running as he chases a first PGA TOUR win. He is playing in his first season on the PGA TOUR after earning his card through the Korn Ferry Tour last year.
“It feels really nice, yeah, to be leading. My two wins (on the Korn Ferry Tour) I think I’ve been up there throughout the whole week, and I haven’t done that this year,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve played my best golf this year on the PGA TOUR yet, and I think it’s arrived this week, and hopefully I can keep it going for the next two days.”
Second-Round Notes – Friday, May 26, 2023
Weather: Partly cloudy. High of 86. Wind ESE 7-15 mph.
36-hole cut: 72 professionals at 1-over 141 from a field of 120 professionals
Harry Hall 62-66—128 (-12)
Harris English 65-66—131 (-9)
Emiliano Grillo 67-65—132 (-8)
Adam Schenk 66-67—133 (-7)
Robby Shelton 66-67—133 (-7)
Byeong Hun An 67-66—133 (-7)