Former Fil Am golf player skips place of victory last year to rest for FedEx Cup

SOUTHWOODS Champ anew with Kim Hyungjoon, 2nd right, showing his mastery with a closing round of two under 67 or 38 points. Kim is now a winner in the biggest golf circuit, the PGA Tour, and will play at the FedEx Cup Play-offs. Here Kim after winning last year. Getty Image

Sad news as a former Manila Southwoods standout who helped the Carmona, Cavite based team dominate Philippine amateur golf including the 69th Fil-Am Golf Invitational seven years ago withdrew from the 84th Wyndham Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina that started Thursday.

The 21 year old Kim Hyungjoon, who carded a 61 for a four day total of 260 and 20 under to win by five strokes that earned him US$1.3 million in the US$7.3 million event at the Sedgefield Country Club last year, withdrew from the tournament and thus waived his chance of defending his crown.

Kim suffered an injury during the 2023 Open Championship last week when he stepped off a patio at his rented home that caused a grade-1 tear in his ankle.

Kim salvaged a tie for second in said tournament but has to withdraw from the North Carolina event where he was supposed to defend.

The win was the first for the 22 year old Kim, who won the Shriners Children’s Open two months later last year.

Kim hopes to recover in time for the FedEx St. Jude Championship at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee two weeks from now.

Kim needed the rest  that will help his chances at the biggest ATP event where he is ranked 14th in the FedEx Cup standings.

The FedEx Cup offers US$75 million prize money with the winner getting a hefty US$18 million purse. Rory McIlroy defends.

The win last assured Kim a Professional Golf Association card.

Kim helped win for Southwoods the Am Championship title in the Baguio Country Club and Camp John Hay golf clubs hosted Fil-Am golf in 2016.

He carded a closing round of 29 or 7 over to power Southwoods to a closing round of 112 and 533 four day aggregate.

Kim, whose father Kim Chang-ik was a pro player before becoming a teaching pro and so his stay in Australia, Philippines and Thailand, won the Philippine Amateur Open Championship and the W Express PVF Cup Championship in 2018.

He turned pro and joined the Philippine Golf Tour in May 2018, before enlisting in the Asian Developmental Tour in 2019.

Kim placed fourth in two ADT events both in Malaysia, and two bridesmaid finishes, both in Thailand, before winning his first, the PGM ADT Championship in Malaysia.

He would later capture the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament in Indonesia then the Raya Pakistan Open that earned him a slot in the Asian Tour in late 2019.

By winning the Panasonic Open in India in November 2019, Kim became the second youngest to win a legt in the Asian Tour at 17 years and 149 days old.

In 2020, he won his first AT title, the SMBC in Singapore which was part of the Open Qualifying Series and thus earning him a slot in the Open Championship, one of golf’s four major tournament.

Kim won the Singapore International in 2022 and was first runner up in the SMBC Singapore also that year that made him the AT’s top money winner.

He thus qualified for the Korean PGA where he won in the Gunsan Country Club Open after a 16 under total for a two stroke win and the SK Telecom Open by carding a 14 under total for a three stroke win.

Kim also earned a special card in the PGA and finished tied for 47th in the 2022 Open Championship.

Before winning at Greensboro, Kim placed seventh in the Rocket Montage Classic.

The win propelled Kim to 21st in the PGA ranking. Pigeon Lobien



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