An Byeong-hun trails Sergio Garcia by 1 at BMW Masters

November 12, 2015
(AP Photo/Rob Brown)

South Korea’s top ranked golfer An Byeong-hun(AP Photo/Rob Brown)

By Brian Han

Whenever BMW hosts a professional golf tournament, something in An Byeong-hun’s game starts to light up. Maybe he’s looking to get his hands on a new luxury car, or maybe it’s just coincidence.

The 24-year-old South Korean won his first European Tour event back in May at the BMW PGA Championship, which vaulted him up the world rankings and into the public consciousness.

It rained throughout Thursday’s round at the BMW Masters in Shanghai, but instead of deterring players from scoring, the softened conditions opened up a flurry of birdies.

South Korean An Byeong-hun put together a bogey-free 7-under 65 in a round where he attacked pins with laser-like precision hitting all but one green in regulation.

That didn’t mean it all came easy for him though.

“It was tough,” he told reporters after the round. “The ball didn’t fly very far, I think, for me and the playing partners the ball didn’t fly very far, and the greens are quite nice I think to play, pretty wet. Some spike marks but they rolled pretty nicely. The round is just really good. I think I hit 17 or 18 greens today, so quite happy with that.”

An’s consistently solid play gives him the highest world rank among South Korean golfers at No. 47.

World No. 11 Sergio Garcia took it one step further and shot an 8-under 64 in a round that had more birdies than pars — nine to be exact.

Other notable rounds included Frenchman Victor Dubuisson who exuded confidence before every single shot. He matched An’s total of seven birdies and is currently in a tie for second.

“I feel so great, I feel so good on the greens,” he said. “When I read the line good, the putt can only go in the hole, and you don’t have this feeling much of the time.”