Byeong Hun An leads Waste Management Phoenix Open

Byeong Hun An leads Waste Management Phoenix Open

Feb 6, 2017

Byeong Hun An is a 25 year old South Korean professional golf player who shot a 6-under 65 with one stroke to lead the competition Saturday February 4, at Scottsdale, Arizona.

This impressive shot adds to his professional performance, making An look forward to win this competition among others. In 2015 he won the European Tour’s flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship. At the age of 17 he he won the US Amateur, being the youngest winner of the event.

“It was crazy. Last couple holes, that many people around the course is insane. Sixteen, obviously, but 17 and 18, when you walk to the green, it was absolutely packed around the green, left and right of the green, everywhere.”

An never finished on lower position than 13 in the Middle East, and he is saying modestly that he doesn’t know why. Could this be luck or his skills? In the Waste Management Phoenix golf competition he doesn’t expect to win. His modesty comes again in the spotlight and he says “My goal will be bogey-free again and just play smart. Hopefully, tomorrow, just keep the same, and then I will be happy. Doesn’t matter if I win or not.” Whatever works.

An had a 16-under 197 total. He birdied five of the first 10 holes. An saved par with a 7-foot put on the 16th and followed with a 7-foot birdie putt on the short par-4 17th. He made another save on 18. An, also known as Ben, said that “The course, I think, just suits my eyes. The hole shaping, and there is not much of a dogleg left or right. You basically hit drivers out there and try to carry all the bunkers”. He opened with consecutive 66, and in the second round, he shared the lead with Brendan Steele. Brendan Steele then dropped into a tie for 7th at 11 under.

Phil Mickelson was six strokes back at 10 under after a 65, but still in the striking distance. He was optimistic and he thought he was in a good spot. “I’m in a spot where nobody’s really looking at me. I’m far enough back, but I am within striking distance.” He won the event in in 1996, 2005 and 2013. The 46-year-old former Arizona State star is performing very well after his two spots hernia surgeries.

John Peterson shot a 63 for the rest of the round, had a double bogey and eight birdies. He said “I got on a little bit of a heater there and really wasn’t in jeopardy of making bogey after that. It was a lot of good ball-striking and I made a couple good putts, too.”

Graham DeLaet had a 65, and Michael Kim a 66. DeLaet said “I’m playing well. I believe in it. But you’ve got to just keep the pedal down out here.”

Hideki Matsuyama who beat Rickie Fowler in a playoff, had a 68 to join John Peterson, Graham DeLaet and Michael Kim at 12 under.