Antoine Rozner

Antoine Rozner after his opening round was on top. Image: DP World Tour website

Antoine Rozner on top in Korea

Antoine Rozner equalled his lowest career 18-hole score as he began the 2023 Korea Championship with a spotless 63.

Antoine Rozner

Antoine Rozner after his opening round was on top. Image: DP World Tour website

Antoine Rozner equalled his lowest career 18-hole score on Thursday as he began the 2023 Korea Championship with a spotless 63 to open up a commanding four-shot lead.

The Frenchman started from the tenth tee in the morning and fired six birdies on his front nine before picking up three more shots after the turn to get to nine under par.

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Rozner clear in front

None of the afternoon starters were able to get close to three-time DP World Tour winner Rozner at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, with home favourite Park Sanghyun and England’s Andy Sullivan his nearest challengers on five under.

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South Korean Lee Hyungjoon was among those another shot further back in a tie for fourth, alongside Yannik Paul, Alexander Knappe, Pablo Larrazábal and Alexander Björk.

After opening his round with a par on the tenth, Rozner made back-to-back birdies at the 11th and 12th before reeling off a hat-trick of gains on the 14th, 15th and 16th.

The 30-year-old then finished his front nine with another birdie at the 18th to turn in 30.

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He kept the momentum going on his back nine, following up birdies on the first and third with a curling birdie putt at the sixth to reach nine under.

Three closing pars then kept Rozner’s card clean as he continued his fine form, which has seen him record one victory and three other top-ten finishes so far in the 2023 season.

He said: “A lot of things went my way today. I obviously played well but you need a bit of luck to shoot 63, especially on a hard golf course like this one. 

“I holed a really good one on the 11th hole, my second hole of the day. It went straight in the centre of the hole and I thought ‘maybe it could be a good day’, and it was. 

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‘Really pleased’ after excellent opening round

“I’m really pleased, I hit some superb shots. Really great start.

“It’s a tough course, you have to keep grinding and you have to focus on the shots. I did that well.

“I didn’t have so many chances on my back nine, but when I had a chance I made it. It was a pure day of golf, one of those days when you wish you could play like this all the time.”

Park made six birdies and one bogey to sign for a first-round 67 and he was pleased with his performance.

He said: “I’m satisfied with my play. The course was quite challenging, but I did well.

“It has been a long time since I have played on the DP World Tour and especially in Korea, so I am very happy.”

Sullivan got off to a sensational start on Thursday afternoon, reeling off four birdies in a row from the second hole, with his enormous putt at the fifth one of the shots of the day. 

He then made three birdies and two bogeys in his remaining 13 holes to move to five under.

Sullivan said: “I played really solid again. I feel like my game’s trending in the right direction so I’ve just got to keep persevering with it.”


Antoine Rozner
Antoine Rozner leads after day one. Image: DP World Tour website