‘K-Brothers in action’ Kim Sung-hyun 2 strokes off pace after first day…Kang Sung-hoon 3rd, Bae Sang-moon 9th
The “K-Brothers” – Kim Sung-hyun (25), Kang Sung-hoon (36) and Sang-moon Bae (37) – were in action on the first day of the Fortinet Championship ($8.4 million purse) on the U.S. Professional Golf (PGA) Tour’s Fall Series.
Sung Hyun Kim carded an eagle and five birdies without a bogey in the first round of the tournament at Silverado Resort (Par 71) in Napa, California, USA, on Friday (July 15) to shoot a 7-under 65 and sit in a tie for second place. He is just two strokes behind leader Lucas Herbert (AUS).
Kim made his PGA Tour rookie debut in the 2022-23 season, playing in 32 events and recording one top-10. He earned $1,511,778 in prize money and finished 83rd on the FedExCup standings.
His FedExCup ranking is good enough to qualify for most events in the shortened 2024 season, but he’ll need to climb to 60th in FedExCup points by the Fall Series to qualify for the signature events that are reserved for the top players. The top 50 players in the FedExCup for the 2022-23 season are already guaranteed a spot in the Signature event. The remaining Signature events will be awarded to players who finish between 51st and 60th in the FedExCup standings at the end of the Fall Series.
This is how Kim plans to play the four events of the Fall Series. If he holds onto second place going into the final round, he’ll move up to 57th in the FedExCup standings from 83rd. If he wins his first PGA Tour title, he’ll climb even higher.
Kim got off to a great start. Kim began the first round in a tie for second place after his second shot with a wedge from 106 yards out on the 14th (par-4) landed behind the pin and sloped right into the hole for a shot eagle. He hit nearly 320 yards off the tee with a 64.29% accuracy rate (9/14 – 27th overall) and a 72.22% greens in regulation (13/18 – 34th). He also averaged just 24 putts and, most importantly, had a 100 percent scrambling percentage with all five of his close calls going for par or better.
Kim, who had a bogey on the first hole (par-4) when he failed to get his second shot on the green, said, “My mid- to long-range putts were going in. My driver was also hitting well and I found my groove with my iron and putt game, which was not good,” he said.
“I regrouped and worked hard this week,” said Kim, who missed the cut at the Korea Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour sponsored Shinhan Donghae Open in Incheon last week. I finished the first day in a good mood. I hope to work hard on the remaining days and play as well as I did today.”
Sung-hoon Kang, who finished 190th in the FedExCup last season, made six birdies without a bogey to finish tied for third. South Korea’s Bae Sang-moon, ranked 226th in the FedExCup, also led the way with five birdies to finish tied for ninth.
Kang, whose only PGA Tour victory came at the AT&T Byron Nelson in 2019, said, “I’ve been preparing well for the past few weeks and it’s good that it went according to plan. I’ve been playing poorly for the past two or three years. It’s nice to be able to start playing well on the first day and get back into a good groove,” said Kang.
Bae, who won his second career PGA Tour victory at this event in 2014 (then the Price.com Open), said, “It’s nice to come to a course I have good memories of and to see the things I’ve been practicing pay off in the game. It was a course I’ve played well on before, so it gave me an advantage,” he said.
It was the first time since the Barbasol Championship in July that Bae played in a tournament in about two months, as he was limited to seven events last season due to not being a full PGA Tour seed. “It was demoralizing to not be able to play for a while,” said Sangmoon. But I kept practicing my putts. I got off to a good start in the first round, so I’ll focus on my putts and iron shots for the next three days. I feel good right now. I will try to play well in the remaining matches.”먹튀검증
Kang and Sang-Moon Bae will be seeded second until 2025 if they win the tournament.
At the top of the leaderboard, Herbert carded 10 birdies and one bogey for a 9-under 63, while Justin Thomas (USA), who was selected to represent the United States in the Ryder Cup between the United States and Europe, shot a 3-under 69 and is tied for 20th.
Max Homa (USA), the only other player in the top 10 in the world rankings, shot a 2-under 70 and tied for 35th. Homa will attempt to join Steve Stricker (USA), who won three consecutive John Deere Classics in a single event from 2009-2011.