Kim Han-byul has won the Korean Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour for the first time in two years with two eagles.
Kim fired a 7-under 65 in the third round of the KPGA Korean Tour’s Golf Zone-Doray Open (total prize money of 700 million won) at Seonsan Country Club (Par 72) in Golf Zone County, Gumi-si, Gyeongbuk on Thursday.
With a midway total of 17-under-par 199, Kim leads Ham Jeong-woo, Kang Kyung-nam and Kim Hong-taek by two strokes.
Kim, who made it three wins in a row at the Yamaha Honours K Open in July 2021, has a chance to add to her trophy haul after two years and four months.
Kim is desperate for a win after suffering a major injury in May when she tore ligaments in her left ankle, sidelining her for two months.
“When it’s raining, I feel a little bit of soreness at the surgery site, but it doesn’t affect my game at all, so I can say I’m 100 per cent,” said Kim, who fired two eagles on a day that was intermittently rainy.
Kim opened with an eagle on the sixth (par-5), when her 50-yard chip shot sank into the hole, before birdies on the seventh (par-4) and ninth (par-5) and a 2.5-metre eagle putt on the 10th (par-5) in just two shots.
A birdie at the 12th (par-4) further reduced her deficit to one, and she made up for a bogey at the 14th (par-4) with a birdie at the 18th (par-5).
Kim shaved six strokes off her third round total with two eagles and two birdies on four par-5 holes.
“I was lucky with the two eagles,” said Kim, who was pleased with her third round performance, “I thought my short game was lacking recently, but today my short game was good and my putts were especially good.”
He credited a bogey on the fifth hole and an eagle on the sixth for the momentum that allowed him to shoot a low round.
Kim, who unexpectedly ended up playing in the final round championship group, said, “You can never be greedy. I once collapsed on the last day because I was greedy,” she said, adding that it was more important to have the mental strength to keep going no matter what.
Genesis Order of Merit points leader Ham Jung-woo shaved four strokes off his score to move into a tie for second place (15-under 201) and will be looking for his second win of the season.
Senior Kang Kyung-nam, who shot an eight-under-par first round to take the lead, fired a three-under-par 69 to take his career win total to 12.
Kim Hong-taek, nicknamed the “Screen Emperor” for his 11 victories on screen golf, shot a two-under 70 in the third round and will be looking for his second title after winning the 2017 Dong-A Membership Group Dynamic Busan Open.
Defending champion Park Eun-shin could only manage a one-shot improvement and slipped to a tie for fourth place (14-under par 202), but that did not douse the flames of a second consecutive title.
Lim Ye-taek, who finished runner-up in a playoff with Ko Goon-taek for his third win of the season at the Gunsan CC Open, carded a course record nine-under-par 63 with 10 birdies to join the top four.
Lim, who is making his fifth start of the season, needs to win this tournament to secure his seeding for next season. 슬롯게이밍