Even if you are caught in jet lag, you finish with an under par… Lim Seong-jae showed ‘World Class’
Im Seong-jae (25), the “Iron Man” who returned to Korea for the first time in 3 years and 7 months, ended the first day of the tournament with an acceptable report card. Although he was in poor physical condition due to jet lag, he responded to the cheers by showing off excellent shots to the fans who came to the venue to see him.
In the first round of the Korea Professional Golf (KPGA) Korean Tour Woori Finance Championship held at the Ferrum Club (par 72) in Yeoju, Gyeonggi-do on the 11th, Lim Seong-jae hit 1 under par 71 with 4 birdies, 1 bogey and 1 double bogey. He finished the game in a tie for 24th, 4 strokes behind sole leader Han Seung-soo (USA).
Im Seong-jae is the ‘signboard’ of Korean men’s golf. Having won two victories in his career on the PGA Tour, he is ranked 18th in the world rankings, the highest among Korean players. On this day alone, 1,834 galleries visited the venue to see him showing off his solid performance by recording a total of seven top 10 finishes on the PGA Tour this season. It is the highest record ever in terms of the number of galleries in the first round among tournaments hosted exclusively by KPGA.
After finishing the PGA Tour Wells Fargo Championship on the 8th, Lim Seong-jae boarded the plane right away. He entered the tournament two days after arriving in Korea at 5:30 pm on the 9th, but recorded a decent score of 1 under par that day.
In the first half of the day, Lim Seong-jae played the best. About 1,000 people followed him all the way to watch the game, and Lim Seong-jae also responded to the cheering by catching a birdie from the 1st hole (par 4). He caught 3 birdies to the 7th hole (par 4) and rose to the top of the leaderboard at once.
However, the ninth hole (par 5) became the inflection point of the game. The tee shot fell into the left penalty area, leading to a double bogey. Afterwards, as his concentration wavered, he recorded a bogey with a three-putt in hole 10 (par 4).
Im Seong-jae, who continued to save par after that, caught a birdie like heaven on the last hole 18 (par 5) and finished the game with an under par. Im Seong-jae’s unique luxury iron shot made a birdie by attaching the third shot to the side of the pin 80cm.
After the game, Lim Seong-jae confessed, “The game went better than I thought in the beginning, but after the double bogey in the 9th hole, the flow stopped and I felt tired rapidly.” He continued, “My tee shot in the ninth hole went to the left, but it didn’t wind up too badly. Unfortunately, there was no fore-caddy on the left, so I couldn’t pinpoint exactly where the ball landed. In the end, it was unfortunate that it was treated as a lost ball.”
On this day, Im Seong-jae started the game at 12:48 pm. This means that the game has been played since midnight in US time. Although he was not in a normal condition, he did not forget to thank the fans who came to the competition site to see him. Fans applauded and cheered for each of his shots, and Lim Seong-jae greeted the fans with a nod. He said, “I came to a Korean competition after almost 4 years, and I was amazed and grateful that there were student fans who came to see me and even skipped school.”
Im Seong-jae said, “Due to the jet lag today, my head was blank and it was a little difficult to concentrate.”
On this day, Seo Yo-seop (27) recorded a hole-in-one on the 16th hole (par 3) and received a BMW I4 car worth 80 million won as an injury. The ball hit by Seo Yo-seop with his 7-iron rolled down the green and was sucked into the hole, and he cheered as he tossed the club aside. When he got to the green he made a big bow to the pin. It is the second hole-in-one in his career following the 2021 Yamaha Honors K Open.메이저놀이터
Seo Yo-seop, who was somewhat sluggish on the day, even recording a 4-over par, finished the game with an even par thanks to a hole-in-one and tied for 43rd place.