Matt Wallace leads the leaderboard of CJ Cup

In second place, tied at -7, we find Sweden's Alex Noren, Japan's Taiga Semikawa, Canada's Taylor Pendrith, and Americans Chesson Hadley, Jake Knapp, Davis Riley, and Kelly Kraft

by Andrea Gussoni
SHARE
Matt Wallace leads the leaderboard of CJ Cup
© Getty Images Sport - Mike Mulholland / Stringer

PGA Tour golfers kick off a new event on the calendar by completing the first round of The CJ Cup Byron Nelson, boasting a prize purse of $9.5 million. Dating back to 1944 and also known as the Byron Nelson Golf Classic, the tournament sees Matt Wallace leading after 18 holes.

The Englishman finished the opening round with a solid -8 (63 strokes), bogey-free, taking the top spot with a one-shot lead over his pursuers.

Matt Wallace, results

In second place, tied at -7, we find Sweden's Alex Noren, Japan's Taiga Semikawa, Canada's Taylor Pendrith, and Americans Chesson Hadley, Jake Knapp, Davis Riley, and Kelly Kraft.

The leaderboard is tightly packed at the end of the debut round, with 116 participants finishing the first round below par. On the par-71 layout of TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, USA, Americans Ben Kohles, Brad Hopfinger, Alex Smalley, and Hayden Buckley close out the top ten with a score of -6, ahead of a group of 15 golfers by one stroke, including Australian Jason Day and Americans Justin Lower and Keith Mitchell.

The concluding stages of the first round were marked by darkness. In the Italian afternoon, a dozen golfers still had to complete the final holes. American Kevin Dougherty, currently 30th at -4 after 17 holes, may climb a few more positions.

On the other hand, Finnish golfer Sami Valimaki and Irishman Seamus Power had forgettable first rounds, finishing at +1 and +2, respectively. Matthew Wallace, born on April 12, 1990, is an English professional golfer who currently competes on both the European Tour and the PGA Tour.

Hailing from Pinner, England, and attending Aldenham School, Wallace began his collegiate career at Jacksonville State University in Northeast Alabama during the 2010–11 season. His freshman year at Jacksonville was highly successful, with Wallace securing two victories, including the 2011 OVC Championship.

He was named the OVC Freshman of the Year and set a school record for the lowest round with a remarkable 10-under 62 in the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate. In 2016, Wallace made a significant impact on the Alps Tour by winning six tournaments, which led to him topping the Order of Merit.

This achievement granted him entry into the Challenge Tour for the 2017 season. His professional career gained momentum in 2017 when he started the year with a tied third-place finish in the Barclays Kenya Open. In May of the same year, Wallace secured victory at the Open de Portugal, a dual-ranking event with the main European Tour. This win earned him promotion to compete on the European Tour.

SHARE