|Kim Hyung-tae fires a shot in the first round of the Herald-KYJ Tour Championship at Lotte Skyhill Country Club in Seogwipo on Jejudo island on Monday. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)|
Kim Hyung-tae, eighth in money rankings, carded 67 to share the lead with three other Korean compatriots in the first round of the Herald-KYJ Tour Championship on Monday.
In the stunning autumn sunshine on a windless day at the Lotte Skyhill Jeju Country Club in Seogwipo on Jejudo island, Kim finished the first nine holes with four under and shot one under in the back nine.
Little known players, low in money rankings, Kim Gi-hwan (17th), Moon Kyong-jun (23rd) and Kim Wi-joong (61st) joined the leading pack.
One shot behind were four contestants all from Korea: Byun Jin-jae, Kim Min-soo, Choi Joon-woo and Mo Joong-kyung.
Strong favorites Kang Sung-hoon and Ryu Hyun-woo both carded 75. Kang and Ryu are currently first and second in money rankings of this season, with 475.52 million won and 441.09 million won, respectively.
Though they were out of the leading pack in the opening round of the season closing event on the Korean Tour, the money race will be two way between them.
If Ryu outperforms Kang to be crowned with the title, he will be recorded as the money leader.
If Kim Doo-hoon, currently third with 368 million won, win the tournament and is rewarded with 60 million won, the top two rankings will not be changed.
The golf tournament launched also to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Herald Corp. features 97 players competing until Friday.
By Chun Sung-woo (email@example.com)