Chan Kim makes 8 shots come-from-behind victory to grab the Japan Open Golf Championship
At the beginning of the Final Round, Koki Shiomi was leading the field with 4 shots and it seemed like he was going runaway with the win. But his road to the victory started to crumble by playing 9 over on the last 5 holes. Literary killed his chance to win.
Also, Mikumu Horikawa who also stumble with consecutive bogeys at the end. It seemed like all the fighters just faded away as Chan Kim was practicing for possible playoff.
Great news got to Chan Kim as he was practicing at the 10th tee. When he found out that he has won the Major, he crouched down and cried. He kept wiping his tears on his sleeves. As he was walking toward the ceremony, he mentioned that today was his caddy's birthday. What a great present for his partner.
"I was really nervous waiting at the 10th tee. I didn't look at the leader board as I came on to the 18th green, so I didn't know that I was co-leader then. I just wanted to make a good birdie at the end, and my goal was to finish within top 3. I didn't also recognize that I made 8 birdies today until I went to the scoring tent, but I did aim to play aggressive for the last 2 days, and I think that paid off. I am really happy that I have achieved the best Major of this Tour. Arigato-gozaimasu."
Chan Kim recalled that at first, he took in the advice from his manager who used to support Shingo Katayama when he won the Japan Open 11 years ago, not to put 1W in the bag at Koga GC. But after few rounds Chan Kim decided that he could use is long drive advantages on some of the holes and he actually used 1W on 10 holes during the Final Round, which must have been the key for success.
He has suffered serious injuries last season, but he is back on track with this Major's prize. Now he jumps up to No.1 on the Money Rankings, the Title he missed to collect at the end of 2017.
"I will also go for the Driving Distance award as well. I was able to gain my confidence again with this Major win. I hope that tournament next week will be the one that could change my life."