Golf: Kim wants to end the season in style at S’pore International, SMBC S’pore Open


SINGAPORE – Well rested after a month-long hiatus, South Korean golfer Kim Joo-hyung is striving to end the Asian Tour season on a high note and win the Order of Merit.

The rising star, whose last competition was the Laguna Phuket Championship in early December 2021, is third on the Tour’s merit list and just over US $ 31,000 (S $ 41,900) behind Australian leader Wade Ormsby ( US $ 250,553.65).

Thailand’s Phachara Khwongwatmai is second with US $ 240,650.

A victory at the US $ 1 million Singapore International, which begins Thursday, January 13 at the Tanah Merah Country Club (TMCC), and the SMBC Singapore Open which ends January 20-23 will certainly increase his chances of winning. overtake its rivals.

He said: “It’s a big chance. Two big events, last two big events, so I hope I have a chance this week and play well enough to give myself a chance next week as well.

The 19-year-old added: “I spent a week in Thailand with the family and returned to Korea. It’s actually quite cold, so it’s really nice to be in Singapore with a shirt and a good heat.

“My game is a little rusty, but I’m just trying to fix it before Thursday morning or Thursday afternoon.”

At the end of last year, Kim finished second and seventh in the 2021 Blue Canyon Phuket Championship and 2021 Laguna Phuket Championship.

“I guess I just kept the heat on from the competition,” said Kim, who in 2019 only won her third Asian Tour start at the Panasonic Open in India.

“I played a lot of events last year and kept playing and worked hard on my game, and I knew my game really well, so hopefully I can do that second and that top 10 again. these two weeks. “

Singapore International is the first major international tournament to take place on the TMCC’s Tampines course since its redesign in 2018 and Kim doesn’t expect things to be easy.

The Thai Jazz Janewattananond and Phachara Khongwatmai, the Malaysian Gavin Green and the Indian Shubhankar Sharma also participate in the tournament.

All of Singapore’s top players will compete including Gregory Foo, Abdul Hadi Uda Thith, Koh Dengshan, Jesse Yap and Choo Tze Huang.

Kim said: “I first took a look yesterday for nine holes and the course with the wind and the layout in general. I feel like it’s going to be tough for all the players this week. .

“You really have to take advantage of it when you can and stick to the game plan for all 18 holes. There really aren’t many loopholes on this course so you need to educate yourself and I look forward to it. be there. “

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