Second-year KPGA player specializes in reclaimed courses

Second-year Korea Professional Golf (KPGA) Korean Tour player Chan-woo Kim, 23, enjoyed his first career victory at the Bizplay Electronics Open, which was shortened to 36 holes due to inclement weather.

Kim fired an 8-under 64 in the final two rounds of the tournament on Sunday at Cosmos Links (Par 72) in Yeongam-gun, Jeolla Province.

With a two-round total of 12-under-par 132, Kim finished one stroke ahead of Jeon Garam, Lee Sung-ho and Kyo Po Jung-yoon (USA).

The tournament was forced to play 36 holes to determine the winner after the course was flooded by heavy rain after the first round on Thursday.

It is the first time in 34 years since the 1989 Pokari Sweat Open that the KPGA Korean Tour has decided a winner in 36 holes.

Including the 1983 Busan Open.

Kim received a 25 percent reduction in the winner’s purse of 150 million won, as per the rules.

However, he secured his KPGA Korean Tour seeding through 2025 and earned a spot on the tour as a winner.

“My shots and mentality have improved recently,” said Kim, “I was aiming to maintain my seeding, but now that I’ve won my first title, I want to win another one as soon as possible.”

Kim made his debut last year and was a virtual unknown to fans until this win.

After finishing 79th on last year’s money list, Kim returned to qualifying tournaments this season and hadn’t finished in the top 10 in any of his previous 10 events, with a tie for 13th at the LX Championship being his best result.

With only $3,076 in earnings, he wasn’t optimistic about his seeding.

However, Kim Chan-woo got off to a good start with a 4-under 68 in the first round, and he was on fire in the second round three days later.

After Lee Sung-ho and Jeon Gar-ram finished at 11-under 133, Kim, who started the second round on the 10th hole, was not on the front page of the leaderboard when he made his second birdie of the day on the fifth hole, the par-3 14th.

With a two-stroke deficit heading into the 18th, Kim reeled off three straight birdies on Nos. 1-3 to move into contention for the title.

After back-to-back birdies on the fifth and sixth holes, Kim was unable to get his ball on the green with his second shot on the eighth (par-5), sending it 31 yards in front of the hole.

However, his wedge from the rough found the green and rolled into the hole for birdie.

With a one-shot lead, Kim waited anxiously for the rest of the field to finish.

Jung Yoon, who shot a 7-under 65 in the first round, birdied the eighth (par-5) on the 17th hole to pull within one stroke, but a par on the back nine (par-4) sealed the deal.

Kim was congratulated early by his teammates as they came in from the tournament.

After Lee Soo-min, who was trailing by two strokes, hit his second shot on the 18th hole (par-5), Kim finally clinched the victory and shared his joy with his sister and father, who caddied for him.

Kim had previously tied for third at last year’s Woosung General Construction Open, which was held at the par-72 Kyle Philips Course at South Links Youngam, which borders Cosmos Rings. It was his highest finish prior to this win.

South Links Yeongam Kyle Phillips Course and Cosmos Links are reclaimed landfill golf courses built by the same company.

“On the landfill course, I was able to hit my driver without fear because there were no OBs,” said Kim, “and I had good memories of doing well on a similar course last year, so I was more motivated.”

Lee Sung-ho and Jeon Gar-ram, who both shaved six strokes off their second rounds, and Jeong Yoon, who shot a 4-under 68, are tied for second (11-under 133).

Moon Moon-jun, who shot a 7-under 65 in the second round, and Lee Soo-min, who shaved six strokes, were tied for fifth at 10-under 134.

Defending champion Choi Jin-ho finished the tournament in a tie for 14th place at 7-under par 136.

Ko, who won his third title of the season and was challenging for a fourth, missed the cut after shooting back-to-back even-par 72s in rounds one and two.

Lee Seung-min, a professional golfer with autism spectrum disorder, lost two strokes in the second round and missed the cut with a 2-under 142 total.

Lee has made the cut four times in KPGA Korean Tour events, including twice this year.

It was especially disappointing for Lee to miss the cut as it was the first time he had earned his way into the tournament through self-selection rather than invitation, and he was tied for 14th place after shooting a 4-under-par 68 on the first day. 토토

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