Korean Amateur Kim Wins Q-School in Phuket
Korean amateur Dongmin Kim closed with a 2-under 68 to hold off former Web.com Tour players Alex Kang of the U.S. and Stuart Macdonald of Canada to win the PGA TOUR Series-China’s third and final Global Qualifying Tournament.
It was a week to remember at the Series’ first event outside of Greater China, with the 20-year-old Kim coming out on top after four hot days at Laguna Golf Phuket. Interestingly, Dongmin Kim was the only amateur to earn full status at any of PGA TOUR Series-China’s 2019 Global Qualifying Tournaments. Kim is planning on playing a full year on PGA TOUR Series-China.
Kim carded rounds of 67-64-67-68 to finish at 14-under and secure a two-shot triumph over Macdonald (67) and Kang (68). With the victory, Kim secured the only full Tour card available this week, while the next 11 finishers have earned status through the first six tournaments on the schedule. Finishers 13-35 (and ties) earned conditional status through the first six events.
Thailand’s Bhurinat Songpaiboon fired a 65 to tie for fourth, at 8-under with Americans Nick Latimer (67) and Jared Howard (71). Japanese duo Narutoshi Yamaoka and Raiki Okamoto both shot 72s to claim seventh and eighth, respectively.
Kim is the second Korean player to win a Global Qualifying Tournament this year after Taeho Kim (no relation) won in Guangzhou, China, last week. The two are good friends and played on the Korean national team together. Dongmin Kim earned a career-high position of No. 53 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Despite being the youngest player in his group Friday, Kim looked comfortable and never surrendered his lead throughout the day. After bogeying the fourth hole, Kim recovered to birdie holes 6, 9, 12, and 14 before bogeying 17. At that point, it didn’t matter.
“It was hard to play the first nine holes today, and I was struggling to find my rhythm a little bit. I don’t think I felt any nerves, but I wasn’t playing my best,” said Kim. “Luckily on the back nine, I was able to pick it up and was able to make some putts.”
Even after the victory, Kim’s demeanour was calm, but it was obvious the win meant a lot to him as he plans to turn pro and start his rookie year.
“It’s my first tournament in 2019, so I’m really happy to get this win. I think if I keep practising hard, I can have some good results in China,” said Kim, who played every round this week with Kang. “It was great to play with Alex [Kang]. He is a good player, and I learned a lot from him. His 61 in the second round was pretty good.”
Also finishing inside the top 12 was Argentina’s Martin Kim, who carded an impressive 64 to share ninth at 5-under, with Spain’s Samuel Del Val (65). Two Americans, Eric Beringer (71) and Henry Westmoreland IV (73), secured the final two cards for guaranteed starts.
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