Kim Dong-min (25-NH Nonghyup Bank) enjoyed his first career victory on the Korean Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour.
Kim shot 5-under-par in the final four rounds of the KPGA Korean Tour’s KB Financial Live Championship (KRW 700 million in prize money) at Blackstone Golf Club (Par 72) in Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do on Monday. He finished with a final total of 8-under par.
It was his first victory since debuting on the KPGA Korean Tour in 2020. In particular, Kim enjoyed the joy of a late victory as he reached the top of the leaderboard in his 66th tournament and 53rd tournament where he was seeded.
Kim made waves with his national team, winning a bronze medal at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, but after turning pro, he struggled, making only 19 cuts in 47 tournaments in three years.
However, Kim showed signs of rebounding last year with a tie for seventh at the Choi Kyung Joo Invitational in October, a runner-up finish at the Golf Zone-Doray Open in November, and a tie for sixth at the season-ending LG Signature Players 안전놀이터 Championship. This year, he improved his form with a fourth-place finish at the DB Insurance Promi Open and a runner-up finish at the Golf Zone Open before finally winning his first title.
Kim earned 140 million won for his victory and quickly moved into second place on the season earnings list (338 million won). He is also first in Genesis Points. At the Golf Zone Open, Kim was awarded the winner’s share of the prize money as the title went to amateur Jo Woo-young.
“I didn’t expect to win,” Kim said after the tournament, “but I thought I could win because I cut a lot of strokes in the first half, so I played hard and this is the result.” “I want to win one more time in the future,” he said, emphasizing that his goal is to win the Genesis Grand Prize.
Kim also thanked NH Bank for its sponsorship. “Kim Dong-min’s confidence in winning this year was not unfounded,” said Jang Han-seop, head of the NH Bank Sports Division. “You can see how hard he worked by looking at his palms, which are mostly calluses,” he congratulated him.
Zhang is a world champion in soft tennis and comes from a family of players who are legends in the sport. “Kim Dong-min’s hands, which are called turtle hands, are like a medal,” Zhang said, “I am proud of him for overcoming so many difficulties and keeping his promise.”
Lee Jung-hwan and Lee Seung-taek were two strokes behind Kim in a tie for second place (6-under par). Bae Yong-jun, who shot even par, and Shin Sang-hoon, who lost one stroke, are tied for fourth (5 under par). Kim Min-kyu, who entered the final round in first place, finished the tournament in a tie for sixth place at 4-over par.