“It’s a wire-to-wire win, but it feels like an upset.”
In the final round of the Korea Professional Golf (KPGA) Korean Tour LX Championship at The Heaven Country Club (par-72) in Daebudo, Ansan-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, Kim Biao came from two strokes behind to win the tournament after holing out an eagle on the 18th hole (par-5) to force a playoff.
It was a wire-to-wire victory for Kim, who finished tied for the lead after the first and second days and solo in the third round.
Kim, who won his ninth KPGA Korean Tour title, said, “I’ve never won a wire-to-wire, so I really wanted to do it, so it’s one of my bucket lists,” but he also laughed and said, “It feels like an upset win.”
He went into the final round with a two-stroke lead, but was overtaken by a birdie party on the back nine, where he recorded one birdie and one bogey.
“I didn’t play well early on. Both my irons and putts were not good,” said Gimbio, “but I kept telling myself that I could do it, that I didn’t know the outcome yet, and that I had to go all the way.”
When he realized he was one shot behind after 15 holes, he walked up to the tee on the 18th hole and asked his caddie, “Are you one shot behind?”
When the caddie replied, “Two strokes,” he decided to play for it.
On the 18th hole, after not holding his driver in the second and third rounds, Gimbio hit his driver hard.
“I was just trying to get as much distance as I could,” he says, “and thankfully I had a 7-wood, which is my favorite. “Thankfully, I had just enough distance left to hit my favorite 7-wood,” he explains, “so I told myself to just hit it in the right direction and it landed three or four steps in front of the hole.
After seeing his fellow competitor, Jang Yubin, attempt an eagle putt from the opposite side that curved slightly to the right and didn’t go in, Kim made a spectacular eagle putt.
“I didn’t know what to do, I just let out a cheer,” said Kim, who roared in victory.
Gimbio has had good luck on the 18th hole throughout the tournament.
He birdied it in the first, second and third rounds, but in the third, his tee shot went right but hit the gallery and rolled into the fairway.
In the first overtime, his tee shot rolled left, hit the cart path and landed in the fairway.
“I thought I had an OB, and I thought it was over,” he said.
“I know the downside of making bad tee shots when you’re in a rush,” Kim said. My personal goal is to improve my fairway percentage to 50 percent.”
Gimbio had two wins in the first half of last year, but struggled a bit in the second half, and he hasn’t had a strong first half this year either.
“In the second half of 2021, my golf was on a good trend. It was on the upswing until the summer of 2022, but in the second half of last year, I put a lot of pressure on myself because I had a good chip on my shoulder and I was motivated, and it didn’t work out.”
Kim said he took a break after the first half of the year to be with his family and think about what he was missing, and he was grateful to coach Lee Jae-hyuk for his swing guidance.
Four years his junior, the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games gold medalist in the team event was able to help him improve his game and mental strength.
“It’s a big tournament, but it was to manage my physical condition,” said Lee, who missed the Asian Professional Golf Tour International Series in London, England, after returning from The Open and the Scottish Open. One step back for two steps forward,” he said.
“There are many big tournaments in the second half of the year, so I will only enjoy the joy of winning today and continue to work hard from tomorrow,” said Kim, who is motivated to reach double-digit wins with nine victories.
“In the second half of the year, I will try my best to win all the tournaments, not just one,” he said, adding, “It’s still too early to talk about individual titles. I need to refine myself more.”
“If I perform well in domestic tournaments, I will have the opportunity to challenge the DP Tour or the U.S. Pro Golf Confederation Tour, so I will focus on the Korean Tour,” Kim said, clarifying his two-track strategy of prioritizing domestic tournaments and going overseas later. 먹튀검증