SONG WINS WAR OF ATTRITION TO TAKE THIRD-ROUND LEAD

25 Jun 2024

Korean Younghan Song, best known for his famous win in the Singapore Open in 2016 when he held off then world number one Jordan Spieth from the United States, will have a chance to claim another of the region’s National Opens tomorrow after taking the third-round lead in the Kolon Korea Open presented by ELORD.

Song’s game was in tune despite persistent rain and grey skies all day that replaced the sunshine of the opening two days.

He shot a best of the day four-under-par 67 to move in front on eight-under at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club, to lead by one from compatriot and overnight leader Kang Kyungnam, in with a 72, and two from the 2022 champion Minkyu Kim, who carded a 71.

Kang Kyungnam

The trio played together in the final pairing with Song edging ahead after a birdie on 18, on a testing day when it rained non-stop. There were two rain delays, at 12.15pm and 2.15pm, with play eventually finishing in fading light at about 8pm local time.

Song, who mainly plays on the Japan Golf Tour, trailed Kang for most of the day, but was a picture of consistency making four birdies and not dropping a shot.

After winning in Singapore further success did not follow but last year he returned to the winners’ circle by winning the Sansan KBC Augusta in Japan.

Kang, also the second-round leader, has come close to winning this tournament on several occasions before. He was second last year, while almost 20 years ago he tied for third in 2006 and finished equal fourth in 2007 – on each occassion at Woo Jeong Hills, home to the event since 2003.

His 2006 attempt saw him shoot an eight-under-par 63 in the second round, which is the course record, also held by four other players.

Three bogeys saw him struggle to hold onto the lead today, while he made two birdies.

Minkyu Kim

A strong international contingent have an outside chance tomorrow with Filipino Miguel Tabuena and Taichi Kho from Hong Kong in a tie for seventh on two under. Tabuena shot a 68, while Kho fired a 71.

England’s Steve Lewton carded a 73 and is one stroke further back.

Play will commence at 7am tomorrow morning.

The event is once again part of the Open Qualifying Series, meaning the leading two players, not otherwise exempt, will qualifying for the forthcoming Open Championship at Royal Troon Golf Club, to be played from July 18-21.

Total prizemoney for the event is KRW1,400,000,000 (approx. US$1.013 million).

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