Piercy leads at CJ Cup, as Koepka charges

Ryder Cup duo well placed heading into the weekend of CJ Cup

The fairways were the third easiest to hit of all the PGA Tour tournament courses, though the greens can be tricky to read for the first-time player.

He's in great position to accomplish his goal.

The American, who is chasing his fifth career PGA Tour title and second of the year, made seven birdies in a bogey-free round of 65 to move to the top of the leaderboard on nine-under, one stroke ahead of reigning US Open and US PGA Champion Brooks Koepka. At 8 under par, he is one back of 36-hole leader Scott Piercy (65). Last year, the wind blew steadily for three of the four rounds, and can blow enough to affect balls on the greens. I mean, I guess you can call it like caveman golf. "Felt like it was a lot more gettable".

Koepka, now ranked third in the world, began the day three shots off the lead, but rapidly ascended the leaderboard. "It's my ninth hole-in-one but first one in Korea, so pretty cool".

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Koepka's only bogey was on the par-5 ninth hole, where he hit a wayward tee shot. And he finished last season ranked inside the top 30 on the PGA Tour in scoring average (70.157), which should allow him to shoot a low score again this week at the 2018 CJ Cup. Sei Young Kim of South Korea and Danielle Kang of the United States were a shot back after 67s, with six other players just two shots off the lead. He deftly converted the eagle effort to tie Piercy and earn a spot in Saturday's final twosome.

Fortunately for the stragglers the second of three PGA Tour events in three weeks in Asia does not have a cut. With three majors and only one regular tournament victory, Koepka is an anomaly on tour with more majors than regular tour wins. "I putted really well".

"I'm hitting well, making putts, I felt like I probably could have shot seven or eight-under there on the front side but I missed a couple".

"It's tough because once you get above the hole with this wind, it's really hard to chip it close". Defending champion Justin Thomas - who beat Marc Leishman in a playoff a year ago - was tied for 33rd and five shots off the lead after a 73. On Thanksgiving weekend, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will face off in a $9 million winner-take-all competition to appeal to a broader range of golf fans. As Wenzloff noted, the Plantation Course at Kapalua was also created to function in strong trade winds (the 18th hole there traditionally plays downhill and downwind some 660 yards-players routinely hit it in two).

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