|Kim Gwi-hwan lines up a putt on Wednesday. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)|
Kim Gwi-hwan of Korea kept his leading pace in the Herald-KYJ Tour Championship Wednesday, adding 5 under 67, his same score as in the first round.
He carded 10 under 134 to take the lead alone.
In the second round of the tournament held at Lotte Skyhill Golf Club in Seogwipo on Jejudo Island, Kim made five birdies, four of them in the back nine, and no bogeys. His two-day play was near perfect. He made just one bogey Tuesday and shared the first-round lead with three others.
“My shots felt so good for two days. I’ve recorded one bogey and never missed the green,” the 22-year-old said. “I am satisfied with my results, one bogey in the first round and no bogey in the second.”
Kim is 11th in the money rankings on the Asian Tour, with about $140,000. He plans to contest about five tournaments on the Asian Tour after the Herald-KYJ Tour.
“I debuted on the Asian Tour last year. Fortunately, I have remained seeded so far this year. My performance on the tour is satisfactory,” he said. “I’ve turned my eye to overseas tours because I wanted to gain as much experience as possible before advancing to a bigger stage.”
He is closely trailed by Hur In-hoi, who was four strokes behind him Tuesday. Hur fired a remarkable 7 under 65 for a total of 8 under 136 Tuesday, narrowing the gap from Kim to two shots.
Hur put up a stunning performance, making birdies on the first, fourth and fifth holes,
He fired an eagle in the seventh hole, setting the course record of 5 under, which he himself set as an amateur in the final round of the 2005 Lotte Skyhill Jeju Open.
“Thanks to the eagle, I was able to tie the course record. I was lucky,” the 26-year-old said.
“I am not the type who immerses himself in practice. I don’t mean that I don’t practice at all, but I don’t practice much. I finish practice in a short time with concentration.”
“To win is more related to both effort and luck. Frankly speaking, my goal in this tournament is to take second place alone.”
In the back nine, he added two birdies and marked one bogey.
Kim Hyung-tae dropped out of the leading pack Wednesday. He shot 2 over-par 74 and fell to 13th with 3 under 141.
Ryu Hyun-woo, who seeks the honor of money leader on the Korean Tour this season, shot 3 under 69 in the second round to climb to 21st with a two-day total of even par 144.
Current money leader Kang Sung-hoon scored an even par 72 Wednesday to place 38th with 3 over 147 after two of four rounds were wrapped up.
Kim Woo-hyun, Mo Joong-kyung and Choi Joon-woo shared third place with 7 under 137.
Moon Kyong-jun and Kim Wi-joong, who shared the lead Tuesday, fell to seventh with a two-day total of 6 under 138. Both carded the same 1 under 71 Wednesday.
No matter who wins the the Herald-KYJ Tour, the race to be the money leader of this season is a de facto two-way race between the current No. 1 and No. 2.
Kang leads money rankings with 475.52 million won, followed by Ryu in second with 441 million won.
By Chun Sung-woo (email@example.com)