Kim bounces back to share 7-under-par lead on first day of LX Championships
Kim is one of the top players on the Korean Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour.
He has eight career victories, winning the GS Caltex Mae Kyung Open and the SK Telecom Open last year alone.
After winning the Grand Prize and Rookie of the Year in 2010, Kim won the money list in 2012 and was the lowest scoring golfer last year.
This year, however, he has yet to win a title.
After two title defenses at the GS Caltex Mae Kyung Open and SK Telecom Open, Kim had to settle for tied for sixth and tied for third, respectively.
After spending the first half of the year on the sidelines, Kim had the misfortune of being involved in a car accident on July 22, two days before the start of the Gunsan CC Open, the first event of the second half of the year.
His car was dented in the back, but luckily he was unharmed.
He was unharmed enough to skip the Pro-Am and play all four rounds of the tournament, starting with the practice round.
On the 31st, Kim shot a 7-under 65 in the first round of the KPGA Korean Tour LX Championship (total prize money of 600 million won) at The Heaven Country Club (Par 72) in Daebudo, Ansan-si, Gyeonggi-do.
Sitting atop the leaderboard with a one-stroke lead over the second group of players who teed off in the morning, Kim has a chance to win his ninth career title in just over a year after last year’s SK Telecom Open.
Kim played a near-perfect round, picking up seven birdies without a bogey and missing the green just twice.
On the 17th (par-4), after his tee shot went into the rough, he sent his ball more than 30 yards from the green with his second shot and then dropped his third shot just short of the hole to save par.
He birdied all four of the par-5s and trimmed three strokes off the par-4s.
“It feels good to finish the first round with a low score for the first time in a long time,” said Gimbio, “I struggled with my driver for the first half of the tournament, so the work I put into correcting my swing over the break paid off and I didn’t make any mistakes off the tee today.”
He cautioned against getting his hopes up, saying, “Everyone will be looking to win, but it’s only the first day,” but added, “I’m in much better shape now than I was in the first half of the year. I will find confidence through this tournament,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to the rest of the tournament,” he smiled, “especially since I had an uneventful game today.
Choi, who used a broomstick putter to win his first title in five years at last year’s Bizplay Electronics Open, also carded a bogey-free 7-under 65 to join the leaders.
Choi, who said that the rough around the greens was intimidating and that his strategy of playing it safe and relying on putts worked, said, “I’ll play it safe tomorrow, too,” and added, “I’m determined to win the second half of the year.”
Kim and Jin-ho Choi ignited the race for nine career victories.
Last year’s Woori Financial Championship winner Jang Hee-min, who has been in a slump having missed the cut in her last five tournaments, also carded eight birdies for a 7-under 65.
“I was impatient after my first win last year,” Jang said, “but my tee shot, which has been shaky, was trouble-free today. I will aim to make the cut.”
Lee Jae-kyung, who leads the Genesis Order of Merit, along with Ham Jeong-woo, Lee Ji-hoon and Noh Seong-jin, shot 6-under 66s to trail the top three by one stroke.
Hangzhou Asian Games “duo” Jang Yubin and Cho Woo-young, who have both reported wins on the KPGA Korean Tour this year, shot a 4-under 68 to set up a heated battle for their second amateur title of the season.
Cho won the Golf Zone Open in April to become the first amateur winner on the KPGA Korean Tour since 2013 Eastern Fire Promi Open champion Lee Chang-woo, while Jang Yubin won the Gunsan CC Open on April 27.
Only twice before has an amateur won two titles in a season on the KPGA Korean Tour, and never before has an amateur won in consecutive weeks.
Lee Byung-ho, 18, an international high school student who swept the U.S. junior ranks, carded a 2-under 70 with three birdies and a double bogey, including a hole-in-one on the par-3 eighth hole. 안전카지노사이트