GREENSBORO, NC — Joohyung Kim nearly clapped off the 18th green at Sedgefield Country Club on Friday, laughing as he had almost left 14 feet to save par on the hole, then promptly sink the putt.
The Wyndham Championship has thus far been an adventurous and entertaining experience for Kim, who used a 6-under 64 and another putting clinic during the second round to take a split lead with Brandon Wu and Ryan Moore at 9 under for the tournament .
“If you had told me yesterday after the first hole where I would be after two days, I would have definitely taken it,” Kim said. “So quite happy and just a little relaxed, knowing I have the weekend to play.”
Kim, a rising star in golf who turned 20 in June, nearly came face-to-face on Thursday and tripped into a quadruple bogey on his first hole of the first round. He first made an 8 on the par-4, with his first tee shot of the tournament being drawn in the primary rough, and his next attempt went just 48 yards and couldn’t find the fairway – and so on and so forth.
He bounced back on Thursday with seven birdies and no bogeys the rest of the way for a 3-under 67, making him the third PGA Tour player since 2003 to make a quadruple bogey or worse on the first hole of a round and an under. card card. par score.
Joohyung Kim studies his putt on the 18th during the second round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Kim said “all I did was laugh” in response to that disastrous start. He started the second lap Friday on the back-nine side of the track, and after the turn, his ride at No. 1 found a fairway bunker. It was an off-line moment that might have hinted at another nightmare scenario on the hole.
Does that evoke any nerve-racking flashbacks of the eight on Thursday?
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“I went into the bunker and I thought, ‘Well, here we go, just don’t make a quad,'” he said. “I was like, ‘Let’s just get this on the fairway,’ and I did.”
Kim stuffed his third shot from 119 yards to the inside of 2½ feet and parried the hole.
“You know what, these are shots hit here, four shots better than yesterday,” he said, joking about Friday’s par. “So most improved on hole #1.”
Kim collected seven birdies to one bogey during the second round, with nothing higher than a 5 on his score card on this day. He birdied the par-4 second hole with a putt over 19 feet and birdied nearly 30 feet on the par-3 seventh hole.
Through 36 holes in the first and second rounds, his putts made total 301 feet, one inch, the longest distance over Wyndham’s first two rounds since the tournament moved to Sedgefield in 2008.
“For me, just try to take it day by day, don’t get too ahead of yourself,” Kim said of his approach going into the weekend. “I’m just trying to enjoy myself and I totally am. So the last two rounds, if I can just play comfortably, just happy, I know I’m going to have a good weekend. But I’m just happy to be here now.”
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek