Korean Kyongjun Moon, who has not missed a cut in two years in Korea but not won in five seasons, maintained his lead at the Shinhan Donghae Open today.
Despite a poor back nine in the third round at Bear’s Best Cheongna Golf Club, in Incheon, he held on for a one-shot advantage over in-form compatriot Hanbyeol Kim.
Moon started the day with a four-shot lead and after making a brilliant birdie on the long par-four 10th, he appeared to be in control – in one of Korea’s most prestigious events.
Moon carded a two-over-par 73, for a tournament total of 11-under-par 202, while Kim fired a 66.
Korean Yoseop Seo is a stroke further back, after shooting 70.
Two of Korea’s most successful golfers Seungyul Noh and Jeunghun Wang are among five players tied for fourth, just three off the lead.
Former Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Noh, tied for second at the start of the day, came in with a 72 while Wang shot 71.
Canada’s Richard T. Lee, winner of the Shinhan Donghae Open in 2017, is tied for ninth on seven under.
With 18 players within five shots of the lead, Moon will have his work cut out in the final round.
His last victory came in 2015 at the GS Caltex Maekyung Open, while he was second in this event in 2014 – behind Korean Sangmoon Bae.
“Looking back on the third round, the score was not good, but I think I will play better in the final round. I think the holes where the game will be decided are on the second half, holes 16, 17 and 18,”said Moon, who complained he missed too many three to four footers.
“The pin positions were more difficult today. As a result, I was thinking too much. I was nervous, too. My shots were still good and my putts were pretty good, but I just didn’t do well today. And it rained so the green speed slowed down and I misread some putts,” added Moon.
“Hanbyeol Kim has been good since he was an amateur and won the last tournament, so he is at his best. Yoseop Seo is a big hitter and an aggressive player. I’m looking forward to it.”
The 38-year-old is a big believer in meditation – something he used to overcome a panic disorder condition early on in his career.
He was actually paired with Hanbyeol Kim in the final group of the Hedges Golf KPGA Open, but finished in a tie for ninth.
Korean Y.E. Yang, winner of the 2009 US PGA Championship – where he became the first Asian to win a Major – returned a 74 and is in a tie for 42nd on one under.
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