Lee Jae-kyung, 24, is tied for the lead on the first day of the Korea Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour’s KB Financial Livechampionship (total prize fund of 700 million won – winner’s share of 140 million won).
Lee carded five birdies and one bogey for a 4-under 68 in the first round of the tournament on Friday at Blackstone Icheon GC North and 안전놀이터 West Course (Par 72) in Icheon, South Korea.
With her strong performance on the first day of the tournament, Lee is looking to win her third career KPGA Korean Tour title. She is also looking for her third top-10 finish in her last four events.
“I had a lot of chances on the front nine, but I was disappointed that I couldn’t capitalize on them. I had a few close calls, but I’m happy with my overall play,” said Lee. I think Blackstone Icheon GC is a course of patience. I’m very happy with my score considering the course.”
On his recent upswing, he said, “Changing my routine is a factor in my upswing. I wake up early in the morning to practice. I missed the cut in three consecutive tournaments from the start of the season. I didn’t play well because I was trying to be too good. I was in the top 10 for three weeks in a row, but I didn’t get greedy and focused on each hole.”
Lee Tae-hoon (CAN) carded an eagle, three birdies and a bogey for a 4-under 68. It was his fourth career KPGA Korean Tour victory.
“I’m happy with everything except the bogey on the fifth hole (par-5). I played confidently on bentgrass, which is my favorite grass. I want to praise myself for not losing any shots on a challenging course,” said Lee. “I didn’t expect to make an eagle on the 18th hole (par 5) with a 21.19-yard putt. With this good momentum, I hope to have a good performance tomorrow.”
Kim Min-soo (33) is also in contention for his first top-10 finish after shaving four strokes off his first round score.
Kim Jae-ho (41), Seo Yosub (27) and Kim Dong-min (27) are in a group of four at 3-under 69.
Defending champion Ji-ho Yang (34) shot a 2-over 74 and is tied for 43rd.