NORTON -- It might take some time before Seung-Yul Noh becomes a household name among fans of the PGA Tour. It might take even longer for some American fans to make the distinction between Noh, a 21-year-old PGA Tour rookie from Seoul, South Korea, and his 28-year-old compatriot, Kevin Na, also from Seoul, South Korea.
Na, who turned professional in 2001, already has one PGA Tour victory under his belt in the 2011 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open. He is single and resides in Las Vegas.
Noh, meanwhile, turned professional in 2007 and joined the PGA Tour after tying for third at the 2011 PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament. His best finish was a fourth in the 2012 AT&T National, won by Noh's boyhood idol, Tiger Woods. He, too, is single, travels the Tour with his older sister, who was by his side at TPC Boston, and resides with his uncle in San Diego.
Noh gained more notoriety, though, when he shot an impressive first-round 9-under 62 in the first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Norton. Noh took a one-stroke lead over Chris Kirk at 8-under (32-31) and a two-shot lead over his Woods (32-32), who finished the first round in a three-way tie for third at 7-under with Jeff Overton (34-30) and Ryan Moore (30-34).
Asked if he gained many followers when he finished his round with birdies on Nos. 17 (40-foot putt) and 18 (5-1/2-footer), Nah replied, in halting English, "Today?''
"Not much,'' he said.
Did people at least know who you were?
"Some people say, Kevin Na, like 'Go Kevin!' '' Noh said, breaking up the room with laughter during his postgame press conference. "I don't know.''
It was all part of the ongoing adjustment to life in America on the PGA Tour for Noh.
"I play two years on the European Tour,'' Noh said. "That's too hard, like long travel every time, different country, different food, different course, everything. So [PGA Tour] better than Europe. Here, in America, a lot of Korean people, players and then a lot of Korean restaurants, everything.
"So I like [it] -- more easier, America.''
Asked if there were any player who had been particularly helpful to him in his rookie season, Noh gave the nod to Y.E. Yang.
"I play a lot of times with him for every tournament, and then every night dinner together,'' Noh said. "That's why I think Y.E. is best.''
But did Yang always pick up the tab?
Noh smiled, chuckled, and shook his head.
No translation was needed.