Numbers game at King's Cup Golf Hua Hin

Fri 17 Jan 2014

Numbers game at King's Cup Golf Hua Hin

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Hua Hin, Thailand, January 17: Korean-America Chan Kim survived a pressure packed second round at the US$1 million King’s Cup Golf Hua Hin after he was penalised for hitting a wrong ball on Friday.
But two late birdies on holes 16 and 17 ensured that the 2013 Asian Tour Qualifying School winner would make the halfway cut right on the bubble at the season-ending event.
With a battle on hand to secure his 2014 season Tour card, Kim is not taking his 55th ranking on the Order of Merit for granted as other players still have a battling chance to overtake him if they get a solid result at the Black Mountain Golf Club this week.
A total of US$17,623 separates Kim from Lam Chih Bing, who is currently is 66th place on the rankings.
The Singaporean, who also made the cut, could still sneak into the safety zone by the end of the week.
Chan Kim of the United States Chan Kim of the United States
Among other players, who made the cut and are still fighting to break into the top-60 include Darren Beck of Australia (OOM - 63rd), Thitiphun Chuayprakong of Thailand (OOM-65th), Lam, Sam Brazel of Australia (OOM – 66th) and Hung Chien Yao of Chinese Taipei (OOM – 71st).
Marcus Both of Australia (OOM – 79th), Zaw Moe of Myanmar (OOM – 80th), Rory Hie of Indonesia (OOM – 85th), Kalle Samooja of Finland (OOM – 94th) and Kodai Ichihara of Japan (OOM – 97th) will also have two more days to try and improve on their rankings.
Kim felt nervous in the last 36 holes and it clearly showed when he hit the wrong ball on the ninth hole to incur a two-stroke penalty.
“It has been lingering in my mind for the last 36 holes knowing that I need to at least make the cut to give myself a chance to stay inside the top-60. I really need to try and improve my position in the last two days,” said Kim.
“I was three-under going into nine and I ended up hitting a wrong ball so I got penalised and made triple bogey to get back to even for the round. I bogeyed 11 and birdied 16 and 17. I definitely felt the nerves and I was trying to hang in there.
“My playing partner (Andrew Dodt) hit it left and I hit it down the right. The ball tends to kick left on the ninth fairway so I thought my ball was in the middle and his was in the left. For some reason it switched. I just got to pay more attention to that. It is just a mistake that I’m definitely going to learn from,” he explained.
Dodt of Australia, who has one Asian Tour victory, managed to overcome a bout of food poisoning as he aims to better or maintain his 58th ranking on the Order of Merit.
“I’ve done the first part by making the cut and the key now is to improve on where I am right now. Hopefully by making the cut here and having two more solid rounds, I would have done enough,” said Dodt.
Jake Higginbottom of Australia, 59th on the Merit list, will be looking at the leaderboard anxiously as he missed the weekend rounds. Hu Mu of China, who started the week in 64th position also missed the cut and will return to Qualifying School in February.
Ends.