Bae shoots tournament record 62, takes clubhouse lead at El Bosque Mexico Championship by INNOVA
February 28, 2020
By Sean Wildhack, PGATOUR.COM
- February 28, 2020
- Bae birdied 10 of his final 14 holes to grab the lead in Mexico. (Korn Ferry Tour)
LEON, GTO, Mexico — With 10 birdies on his final 14 holes, highlighted by six birdies on the back nine, Sangmoon Bae took the clubhouse lead at the El Bosque Mexico Championship by INNOVA with a career-low 62.
“Well, no bogeys and 10 birdies is great,” Bae said. “This weather is great, and the course is in great shape. I’m very satisfied with my play and I’m really happy.”
Despite playing the first four holes even-par on Friday, Bae found his rhythm after his first birdie of the day on the par-4 fifth. After a par on No. 6, he soared up the leaderboard with birdies on Nos. 7-10 to reach 5-under on the round.
The 33-year-old added his sixth birdie of the day on the par-3 12th. After a par on the par-4 13th, Bae caught fire again with birdies on Nos. 14-17 to reach 10-under for the day. He converted his par on No. 18 to post 10-under for the day and 13-under for the week.
“My first birdie kind of woke me up,” he said. “After that, my putter kept warming up. I made a lot of putts and hit a lot of good iron shots today.”
Bae’s 10-under 62 set the new 18-hole tournament record at the El Bosque Mexico Championship by INNOVA and matched the low round of the year on the Korn Ferry Tour this season.
Bae has spent the majority of his career on the PGA TOUR. He earned his first TOUR victory at the 2013 AT&T Byron Nelson and added a second win at the 2015 Safeway Open. In 2015, Bae was selected as a captain’s pick for the Presidents Cup.
Following the 2015 Presidents Cup, Bae served as a rifleman in the South Korean army as part of a mandatory two-year military commitment. He returned to the PGA TOUR at the 2017 Safeway Open, the site of his second TOUR win.
In 2018, Bae made his Korn Ferry Tour Finals debut at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. Three weeks later, he earned his first Korn Ferry Tour title at the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco.
“When I won in Boise, I felt like I was back,” he said. “I think the Korn Ferry Tour is pretty similar to the PGA TOUR. It’s so competitive on both Tours, I just have to keep grinding and play my best and that’s all I can do.”
Mito Pereira, who sits alone in second, nearly matched Bae’s 18-hole tournament record Friday afternoon. Pereira carded a second-round 9-under 63 to reach 12-under 132 for the week.
Beginning the second round on the back nine, the Texas Tech University product played his first seven holes at 3-under. On the par-5 18th, Pereira hit the flagstick with his second shot and holed his chip for eagle from just off the green.
After making the turn, the 24-year-old continued his stellar play with birdies on Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5. Pereira dropped a shot on the par-3 seventh but immediately rebounded with a birdie on No. 8 and a par on No. 9. The 9-under 63 was good for the lowest round of Pereira’s Korn Ferry Tour career.
“It was a great day for me today,” Pereira said. “I played really solid and made just one bogey. I was pretty solid in all parts of my game. I’m pretty happy and confident heading into the weekend.”
At the Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament’s Final Stage last December, Pereira missed earning guaranteed starts by one stroke, finishing T41. Despite not knowing what Tour he would be playing in 2020, he earned a spot in the field at the Panamá Championship earlier this season. He made the most of his opportunity and finished the week T3.
A week after the Panamá Championship, Pereira won his first Korn Ferry Tour title at the Country Club de Bogotá Championship. Through the first five events of the 2020 season, Pereira ranks second in The 25 and is in great position to earn his first PGA TOUR card.
“You play this game to get to the PGA TOUR and that’s the dream of every player,” he said. “The first step is to get there and it’s pretty tough. Hopefully I can get it done.”
Mark Hensby, who sits alone in third at 8-under 136, carded a 2-under 70 on Friday.
Play was suspended due to darkness at 7:05 p.m. CST. The second round will resume at 8:15 a.m. Saturday morning. Third-round tee times will run from approximately 9:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.