Anders Albertson cards bogey-free 62 for two-stroke lead at Visit Knoxville Open
May 12, 2022
By Hagan Parkman , PGATOUR.COM
- May 12, 2022
- (Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
KNOXVILLE, Tennessee – Anders Albertson opened the Visit Knoxville Open with a bogey-free 8-under 62 Thursday, taking a two-stroke lead over MJ Daffue and Michael Feagles, who carded matching 6-under 64s in the first round at the Holston Hills Country Club.
Albertson, a 28-year-old who plays from Atlanta, Georgia, started his round at the par-4 10th and made his first birdie at the par-3 11th. Albertson posted three consecutive birdies on Nos. 14-16 prior to the turn, after which he birdied four of the first five holes on the front nine (Nos. 1, 2, 4, 5) and reached 8-under par. Albertson closed his round with four consecutive pars.
“I didn't make any bogeys, so that helps,” said Albertson, whose eight birdies matched Daffue for the most in the field. “I finally got into a rhythm again. I've been hurt the past couple of weeks, but I feel better now. I got to practice and it's been a nice couple of days here in Knoxville. I had a good day, but it's just one day, so I need to wake up and do the same thing tomorrow.”
Making his 121st career start on the Korn Ferry Tour this week, Albertson holds the second 18-hole lead of his career, as he previously led the 2021 Veritex Bank Championship ahead of a T20 finish. The Georgia Tech alum also matched his career-low round of 62 for the sixth time, with the most recent occurrence being a 9-under 62 in the final round of the 2022 Veritex Bank Championship.
Four of the previous five times Albertson carded a 62 in an event, he finished T12 or higher, including a T2 at the 2018 Albertsons Boise Open presented by Chevron.
Albertson, who turned professional in 2015, also has 26 starts on the PGA TOUR. He graduated to the TOUR following the 2018 Korn Ferry Tour season, when he finished No. 8 in the regular season with a win at the Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS, the aforementioned T2 in Boise, two other top-10s, and 14 top-25s across 23 starts. As a PGA TOUR rookie, Albertson enjoyed a strong fall (three top-30s in his first five starts), highlighted by a T5 at the 2018 Sanderson Farms Championship. After he opened the 2019 calendar year with a T34 at The American Express, Albertson missed the cut in 14 of his final 19 starts, falling to No. 172 in the FedExCup Standings and back to the Korn Ferry Tour.
"I now know what not to do,” Albertson said of his time on the PGA TOUR. “I lost my card thinking about things that are not helpful, and I think I'm playing a much different way now. If I get my card again or not, I'm very much at peace. I just play in my own bubble and if I get it, I get it. I'm more process-oriented now as opposed to thinking about what's on the line or where I stand."
In the combined 2020-21 season, Albertson logged nine top-25s and 20 made cuts across 37 starts and finished No. 64 on the Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Points List, granting him fully exempt status for the 2022 season.
In eight Korn Ferry Tour starts this year, Albertson has six made cuts, a season-high finish of T4 at the inaugural Lake Charles Championship, along with a T12 at the Veritex Bank Championship last month.
"[Being in contention] does a lot for my confidence,” Albertson said. “It puts me in a good position, so I'm just going to try and do the same thing tomorrow."
Second-round tee times will from 7:15 a.m. through 2:15 p.m. local time off the first and 10th tees.