South Korea’s Tom Kim carved out a one-shot lead at the rain-hit French Open on Thursday, enjoying the added bonus of an early sight of Le National course which will stage the 2024 Olympics golf tournament.
Kim, who was runner-up at The Open earlier in the year, hit six birdies in seven holes to sign for a bogey-free 64 and hit the top of the leaderboard at seven under.
English pair Richard Mansell and Matthew Southgate were at six under along with Spaniard Alfredo Garcia-Heredia and Swede Joakim Lagergren, who was facing a 28-foot putt for par on the last hole when play was suspended in fading light.
South Africa’s Louis de Jager is among a group of 10 on five under after a round of 66 that included seven birdies and two bogies.
“I didn’t really expect anything,” said Kim, making his debut at the tournament. “It played really hard today with the rain, this course when it starts to rain and with the wind up, it’s not easy.”
He added: “Knowing the Olympics is going to be here next year, if I can qualify then it’s definitely good prep.
“At least seeing the course before coming here, if I get the chance next year, just having that and knowing the course is going to help. It’s a bonus for me.”
Kim has enjoyed a memorable couple of seasons.
As well as his second-place finish at The Open, he was third at last season’s Scottish Open and has won twice on the PGA Tour.
© Agence France-Presse