Kim Biao plays a driver tee shot on the 10th hole during the SK Telecom Charity Open with American Express at Finks Golf Club in Jeju Island on Sunday. Courtesy of the KPGA
Eight Korean golfers, including Kim Joo-hyung (21? Nike Golf) and Lim Sung-jae (25? CJ Logistics), will compete in the Genesis Scottish Open.
The tournament, co-hosted by the U.S. Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour and the European Tour, DP World Tour, will be held at The Renaissance Club (Par 70, 7237 yards) in North Berwick, Scotland, United Kingdom, for four days starting on Sept. 13 (local time). The total purse is $9 million.
The Genesis Scottish Open is the first co-produced event under the strategic alliance between the PGA Tour and DP World Tour. It is also a member of the Rolex Series, the top five events on the DP World Tour.
The tournament is a prelude to The Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Wirral, England, which will take place over the next 20 days and will feature many of the world’s top players.
Eight of the top 10 players in the world will be competing, including World No. 1 Scott Schauffler (USA), No. 3 Rory McIlroy (GBR), No. 4 Patrick Cantlay and No. 6 Xander Schauffele (USA). Of these, Shofley will be defending his title.
South Korea is represented by Kim Joo-hyung and Lim Sung-jae, as well as five PGA Tour players in Lee Kyung-hoon (32? CJ Logistics), Kim Sung-hyun (25? Shinhan Financial Group) and Ahn Byung-hoon (32-CJ Logistics), and three Korean Professional Golf (KPGA) Tour players in Kim Young-soo (34-Dongmun Construction), Kim Bi-o (33-Hoban Construction) and Seo Yo-seop (27-DB Insurance).
Kim Joo-hyung, who led the tournament last year until the final round when he bogeyed the last 18 holes to finish in sole possession of third place, will be looking to repeat.
After missing the cut last year, Im Seong-jae, Kim Biao and Lee Kyung-hoon will be looking to redeem themselves.
In particular, Lim has yet to win this season, but he has seven top-10 finishes and is expected to finish in the top 10.
To get the results they want, the players will have to overcome the weather. The links golf course where the tournament will be held is located on the beach, which means that there will be plenty of wind and gusts.
As the PGA Tour states on its website, “Wind and gusts will be strong. Rain is also not ruled out, so it will be a tough challenge for the players.”
The course is also challenging. Three of the 10 par-4s were among the top 15 toughest on the PGA Tour last season. The fairways and greens are firm, requiring players to calculate the distance and direction of their putts.
The unfamiliarity of the course has Korean golfers worried even before the tournament.
“Unlike in the U.S., this course is very windy, so you have to be prepared,” said Lim Sung-jae in a recent video interview with Korean reporters. “Here, you have to hit with a low trajectory, which is a bit of a disadvantage for me, who has a high trajectory.”
Kim Biao and Kim Young-soo also agreed, saying, “I think fighting the wind will be the most important thing.”
However, they have already studied the course and are determined to overcome it and perform well.
“It’s hard to match the distance of my iron shots, but I’ll do my best to prepare,” said Lim. “I hope to make the cut and then finish in the top 10, top 5, or even win.”
“If I can adapt and get used to the course, 고스톱 I think I can do much better than last year,” said Kim.