WASHINGTON (AFP) - South Korea's Im Sung-jae and American Scott Piercy each fired six-under 65s to share the lead in Thursday's (July 21) opening round of the PGA Tour's 3M Open.
Both battled tricky winds at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota, but seized a two-stroke edge on third-placed American trio Tom Hoge, Doug Ghim and Brice Garnett.
"I felt like I struck the ball well all day," Piercy said. "With the winds being cross and swirly, I felt like I hit good solid shots into conservative parts of the green."
Back-nine starter Im sank a putt from just inside 18 feet for par at 18 to spark a hot closing-nine run.
"It was a good score," Im said through a translator. "The momentum at 18th hole made a good rhythm for me, a good tempo, and I had a good score on the back nine."
Im, the 2020 Masters runner-up, is seeking his third PGA title after the 2020 Honda Classic and 2021 Shriners Children's Open.
Piercy, 43, is down to his last three events to try and move into the top 125 on the PGA season points list and reach next month's play-offs.
"You know where you're at," Piercy said. "Every shot counts and it's time to buckle down. To start off this way is really nice."
Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champion, withdrew because of a sore wrist after shooting 77.