Hangzhou Asian Games competitor Jang Yubin is on track to win back-to-back amateur titles on the Korean Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour.
Jang shot a 7-under 65 in the second round of the KPGA Korean Tour LX Championship ($600 million purse) at The Heaven Country Club (par-72) in Daebudo, Ansan-si, Gyeonggi-do, on Monday.
With an 11-under-par 133 total, Jang is tied for the lead with Kim Bi-Oh and Yoon Sang-Pil.
Jang, who won the KPGA Korean Tour’s Gunsan CC Open on March 27, will make history by becoming the first amateur to win two consecutive tournaments on the KPGA Korean Tour.
Until now, the KPGA Korean Tour has had two amateur wins in a season, but not back-to-back.
Yubin Jang’s seasoned game was on full display as she outplayed the senior pros in this tournament.
With 11 birdies and no bogeys over two days, Jang played a smart game, hitting her driver only six times on the day.
“On this course, if you hit a driver, you’re more likely to end up in the rough because it narrows down where the ball lands. I decided it was better to hit the green from the fairway rather than the rough, even if it was a little far.”
Zhang’s secret weapon is his newly acquired 2-iron.
It travels 250 meters off the tee and is his favorite off the tee because of its directionality.
“I’m a long hitter, so a two-iron is good enough,” added Jang, who hits 330 yards with her driver.
Another key to Jang’s success in back-to-back weeks has been her improved short game.
“I’ve been playing a lot on the Korean Tour, so I’ve gotten better at handling difficult situations,” said Jang, who chipped in for birdie on the 13th hole (par-3) after sending her tee shot into the rough.
He explained that he was able to keep himself from losing his stroke and was more confident with his shots.
Despite being an ‘amateur catching a pro’, Jang Yubin humbled himself.
“I learn a lot from the pros in every tournament,” he said. “They don’t play aggressive shots blindly, and they don’t get angry when things don’t go their way. I learned these things.”
“I want to praise myself,” she said, noting that she was able to keep her excitement in check even after winning the tournament.
Jang Yubin vowed not to be greedy for the title.
“Even when I won the Gunsan CC Open, I didn’t think about winning until the 16th hole of the final round,” he said. “It’s good that I’m an amateur, unlike a professional, so I don’t have much pressure on my ranking.”
Jang Yubin, who will play two more KPGA Korean Tour events before preparing to leave for Hangzhou, said, “The professional tournaments are just preparation for the Asian Games. At the Asian Games, my goal is to play without any regrets and not think about the gold medal.”
Kim Biao, who shot a 7-under par on the first day to share the lead, dropped four strokes on the second day to take the lead for the second time in as many days.
Last year, she won two titles, the GS Caltex Mae Kyung Open and the SK Telecom Open, but this year, she is yet to win a tournament and is looking for her ninth win in just over a year.
After carding seven birdies without a bogey the day before, Kim had an up-and-down second round with an eagle, four birdies and two bogeys.
“I had some ups and downs today, but I kept my head in the game,” said Gimbio, adding, “It’s been a long time since I’ve had this opportunity, so I really want to do well. If I stay consistent, I’ll be able to do a press conference on the final day.”
Yoon, who is yet to record his first win and whose best finish was a runner-up finish in 2018, carded seven birdies for a 5-under 67.
Yoon returned home from the Asian Professional Golf Tour’s International Series event in England on March 30, a day before the tournament opened.
Jang, who also shot a 6-under 66 in the first round, said, “I’m jet-lagged, and I’m not in the best shape I’ve been in this year, so I’m surprised I’m playing well,” but added, “I’m in the lead, so I’ll try to win.”
Choi Jin-ho, Jang Hee-min, Kim Jae-ho and Ok Tae-hoon rounded out the top four, one shot back.
Choi, who made a comeback using a broomstick putter, had a clean round with an eagle and a birdie to drop three strokes and move within striking distance of Kimbio’s nine career victories.
Day one co-leader Jang Hee-min also dropped three strokes to stay in the lead.
Ok Tae-hoon swept in 10 birdies to shoot a 9-under 63 and join the race for the title.
Ok matched the course record set by Seo Yosub (63) in the first round of this tournament last year, but he was unable to match the course record because the tournament was played with Preferred Rye due to sagging fairways.
Preferred Rye refers to the practice of picking up balls that have fallen into the fairway when the course is in poor condition, wiping them down, and putting them down within an inch of their lives so that they can be hit.
After nine holes of OB, defending champion Seo Yosub was disqualified because he ran out of balls.
The rules of golf require players to use the same model ball from the same manufacturer.
If a player runs out of balls, they can borrow from a teammate or have someone fetch them for them, but they shouldn’t delay the process.
If a player runs out of balls during a match, it’s a good indication that there are a lot of lost balls due to bad shots.
In this case, the score tends to snowball, so the player usually chooses to disqualify rather than put in the effort to retrieve the balls.
Seo, who started the match on the 10th hole and played through the 17th hole with an average total of 6-over par, lost six balls on the 18th hole alone for an OB of 6.
Hangzhou Asian Games representative Cho Woo-young, who won his first KPGA Korean Tour Amateur title in a decade at the Golf Zone Open in April ahead of Jang Yubin, missed the cut with a 4-over-par 76 for a total of even-par 144.
Lee Byung-ho, a 6-foot-5 high school student from Hwaseong, South Korea, who has garnered attention for his outstanding performance on the U.S. junior circuit, shaved two strokes off his total to make the cut at 4-under-par 140. 토토사이트