Tournament article

Dominant Kim storms to victory

Dominant Kim storms to victory

Despite making only a handful of appearances on JGTO this year, it did not stop reigning money list winner Chan Kim from challenging himself to win at least a title.

On Sunday, it was a mission accomplished for the 32-year-old as he secured his eighth JGTO title with a wire-to-wire win at the Casio World Open.

Kim did it in an emphatic fashion, firing a 10-under-par 62 en route to compiling a jaw-dropping total score of 32-under 256 - the lowest-ever 72-hole score in the JGTO history.

Kim's splendid effort also saw him effortlessly smash the previous tournament record of 24-under by eight strokes and finish six shots ahead of second-placed Aguri Iwasaki.

“For the final round, I wanted to play well and was hoping to get to 30-under. I knew if I could do that, I would win,” said Kim, who smashed the previous best 72-hole score of 28-under set by South Korea’s In-hoi Hur at the Toshin Golf Tournament.

“I’m so happy it went so well and I managed to break the JGTO scoring record for the 72-hole. I hope it will remain for a very long time,” said a delighted Kim.

Starting the final round with just a one-shot lead over Iwasaki, Kim turned it into a romp with four birdies on the front nine.

After the turn, he continued his red-hot form by firing six more birdies including a hat-trick gain in the closing three holes to make it his most memorable victory yet.

Iwasaki carded 67 to take the runner-up spot on 26-under 262, two better than 2016 winner Yuta Ikeda, who returned a 66 at the Kochi Kuroshio Country Club.

Kim became the only second international of the season following Zimbabwe's Scott Vincent's triumph at the Mizuno Open in May.

This week marked Kim's only 11th start this year as he also has commitments abroad.

But Kim still impressed with several decent four top-10 finishes in his last five outings, including a tied second at the Heiwa PGM Championship.

Meanwhile, Kazuki Higa has emerged as this season's Money Rankings champion despite finishing 37th this week.

Higa will head into the season finale Golf Nippon Series JT Cup next week with season earnings of ¥180,041,233, giving him an unassailable lead of ¥70,000,000 over second-placed Rikuya Hoshino.

"I can't believe that I won. I feel a little relieved and it's a weight lifted off my shoulders," said Higa.

Leading final round scores:

(Japan unless stated)

256 - Chan Kim (US) 64-66-64-62;

262 - Aguri Iwasaki 66-66-63-67;

264 - Yuta Ikeda 68-66-64-66;

265 - Sang-hyung Park (Kor) 68-67-66-65;

266 - Satoshi Kodaira 67-67-64-68;

267 - Shugo Imahira 70-66-66-65, Young-han Song (Kor) 67-66-66-68;

269 - Taisei Shimizu 72-66-66-65, Rikuya Hoshino 67-68-67-67, Justin De Los Santos (Phi) 67-69-66-67, Keita Nakajima 67-68-66-68, Mikumu Horikawa 69-67-64-69.