Chan Kim’s gut feeling comes true, wins twice in two days

Known for his powerful drives, Chan Kim chose to stay patient the week of Vantelin Tokai Classic. Photo: Asian Tour
Known for his powerful drives, Chan Kim chose to stay patient the week of Vantelin Tokai Classic. Photo: Asian Tour

Chan Kim of the US took the champion’s trophy from this year’s Vantelin Tokai Classic, following the driving contest win on Saturday.

Excited after the trophy ceremony was over, Kim kept pointing to the sky and saying, “Yes, yes, yes!”

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Chan won the driving contest in the third round and defended the title with a monstrous 333-yard shot. “I hope I get to do the winner’s interviews with the media on Sunday too,” was his wish.

“I am so happy my wish came true.”

Kim won by 2 shots but the Miyoshi Country Club gave him a last-minute fright on the finishing hole. In front right of the 18th green lies a water hazard, and Kim’s second shot from the rough didn’t reach the green. It rolled down the slope towards the water hazard.

“I thought the ball went into the water, I closed my eyes.” But miraculously, it stopped on the edge of the water. “That was amazing!” Kim bowed to show how relieved he was.

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He got his third shot to 2.5-meters of the pin. The hands were shaking, but he made the par putt to win a total of 14 under par 270.

“It is wonderful to win twice here. Great things like these don’t happen often in life. I am so happy.” Saturday’s driving contest king was all smiles again.

Known for his powerful drives, Kim’s motto this week was to stay patient. “When I made a bogey, I get too aggressive trying to make it up as soon as I can, and that leads to mistakes. I was able to stay patient on the 9th, as I made a 4-metre to save par, after bogeying the 8th. I am working on playing wisely aggressive. Not to just carry the ball further but place the ball in right spots.”

Kim is No.1 on the money rankings. “I don’t know about the Order of Merit yet, but I want to keep winning. I will try my best to win the ZOZO Championship too.”

Chan will drove from Nagoya to Chiba, where next week’s Bridgestone Open will be held.
“If I had not won, I would have taken the bullet train, now I will enjoy the 7-hour drive and stop by to eat my favorite noodles too.”


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