This time, it’s Hyun Tae’s dad. On the first day of the Korea Professional Golf (KPGA) Korean Tour’s Genesis Championship, which carries a total purse of 1.5 billion won ($300 million), Hwang Joong-gon put on a birdie show and has a chance to become another dad and mom golfer champion.
Hwang shot a 6-under 66 in the first round of the tournament at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon on Wednesday. With six birdies and no bogeys, Hwang is tied for the lead with Lim Sung-jae and Heo In-ho.
After the birth of his first child in September last year, Hwang prepared for this tournament with more determination than ever. He wanted to be able to take a victory photo with his child, just like the likes of Ham Jeong-woo, Park Joo-young, and Heo In-ho, who recently won on the Korean Tour and the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Tour.
The first shot went perfectly. After starting the day on the 10th hole, Hwang shot a 4-under-par first round. He continued to play flawlessly in the second half. He dropped one stroke on the second and eighth holes to finish 6 under par.
Hwang has been consistently ranked in the top 10 this year, including a runner-up finish at the LX Championship and a tie for third at the Woori Financial Championship, but there’s one thing he’s been struggling with: putting on the greens. His sharp iron shots, which hit the greens at a 75.63% rate, gave him numerous birdie opportunities, but he was unable to capitalize on them at the finish.
On the first day of the tournament, however, his putting was completely different. The key to his dramatic increase in putt success is his long putter. When he saw his Korean Tour teammate Park Jung-min’s long putter on the 9th before the tournament, he felt comfortable with it and put it in his caddie bag.
“This is my first tournament using the long putter, and it feels like I’ve been using it for 10 years. The stroke, distance, etc. are all perfect.” “The most satisfying thing is that I don’t make any ridiculous putts. No matter what distance I putt, it’s all around the hole, so I’m playing at ease,” he said with a smile.
There is also a special person who has given him tremendous strength. His son, Hwang Hyun-tae. Hwang was on hand to cheer on his dad and was all smiles as he walked out of the tournament. “I did my best to give my son a good show, and I’m happy that I finished 6-under par,” Hwang said, adding, “Since becoming a father, I’m feeling a lot of emotions that I didn’t know before. I definitely feel a sense of responsibility. I will try to play hard until the end so that I can tell my dad that he won the tournament.”
The Japanese fans who traveled to Korea to watch him play were also a big support. Hwang said, “There’s nothing like being cheered on by someone. I’m very grateful to them for taking the time to come to Korea,” he explained.토토사이트
Hwang said he was determined to make up for his narrow loss at the LX Championship last month. “Normally, I would aim to make the cut by the second day and then play for the weekend, but this time it’s different,” he said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the top 10 on the first day, so I don’t want to miss the opportunity. I will take it one step at a time with only one goal in mind, which is to win the championship.”
Lim Sung-jae, Cho Woo-young and Jang Yubin, who shared gold in the men’s golf team event at the Hangzhou Asian Games, also performed well. Lim shot a 6-under-par 66 to share the lead with Hwang Joong-gon. “It’s true that I missed a few putts, but I’m satisfied with my six strokes on the first day,” said Im, who will be looking to repeat his 2019 victory. “I’m feeling really good with my driver and irons right now. I will continue my upward trend and try to win the title.”
Cho Woo-young is tied for fifth at 4-under 68, while Jang Yoo-bin finished the first round in a tie for 16th at 3-under 69.