South Korean golfer Kim Dong-min, 25, won his first career title on the Korean Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour in just his 66th event.
Kim shot a 5-under 67 in the final round of the KPGA Korean Tour’s KB Financial Live Championship (total prize money of 700 million won) at Blackstone Golf Club (Par 72) in Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, on Aug. 28 to win his debut title with a four-round total of 8-under 280.
First win since debuting on the KPGA Korean Tour in 2020.
A bronze medalist in the men’s golf team event at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang, he has had a rocky start to his professional career. In three years, he made the cut in only 19 of 47 tournaments. Last year, he missed the cut in the first nine of 21 events.
He wasn’t even seeded, but that changed in the second half of the season when he shed his OB burden. He finished in the top 10 in three of the last four events of the second half of the year, including a runner-up finish, to maintain his seeding at No. 57 in Genesis Points. He continued his rise this season with a fourth-place finish at the DB Insurance Promi Open and a runner-up finish at the Golf Zone Open.
Kim Dong-min added to the list of upset winners that has become a tradition at the event with a stunning come-from-behind victory.
Sitting in 10th place, five strokes off the lead after the third round, Kim made four birdies on the back nine to move into contention.
A three-putt bogey on the 17th (par-4) seemed to put him out of contention, but an eagle on the 18th (par-5) completed a thrilling comeback.
With 236 yards to go, he attacked the 메이저놀이터 green with a wood and dropped his ball five meters short of the hole, and his hard-hit eagle putt dropped straight into the cup. It was an instant win. Kim Dong-min, who finished first, clinched the victory when Shin Sang-hoon, who was trailing by one stroke, made a double bogey on the par-4 17th hole.
“I never dreamed of winning until I finished the third round,” said Kim. “I knew I was tied for the lead on the 17th (par-4). I decided to go for eagle on the 18th and chose a 3-wood, which landed close to the pin and I was able to make eagle. My last putt was for eagle,” he recalled.
“My lack of accuracy off the tee has prevented me from winning in the past,” he said, adding, “I felt more confident with my driver. I had a lot of OBs that went right. I was trying to hit it too straight. I practiced a lot of driver shots by myself to work on my fade, and my tee shots were much better than in the first half of last year, so I was more confident.”
“This year, I want to add one more win to top the Genesis Points and win the Genesis Grand Prize, and I want to participate in the final stage of the Q-School on the Confederation Tour,” said Kim Dong-min.