Saturday, 14 September 2013
Sihwan Kim (Pavel Zmey)  (EuropeanTour)
Sihwan Kim (Pavel Zmey) (EuropeanTour)
The inaugural Kharkov Superior Cup is set for an enthralling final day after Sihwan Kim’s six shot second round lead was chopped to just one on moving day, with in-form Dutchman Daan Huizing and England’s Lloyd Kennedy in close pursuit of the Korean.

In much more difficult conditions at the Superior Hotel and Spa Resort, Kim suffered three double-bogeys but battled bravely to card a three over par 75 and he slipped back to 11 under par for the tournament.

That left the door open for potential contenders to enter the fray and one of those to duly oblige was 22 year old Huizing, one the Challenge Tour’s hottest young prospects, whose astounding record since his professional debut on the tour in June reads; seven appearances, one win, four more top fives and two more top 20 finishes.

The winner of the Northern Ireland Open Challenge Presented by Clannah & XJET two weeks ago, who as an amateur won the 2012 St Andrews Links Trophy and 2012 Lytham Trophy by 11 shots and 14 shots respectively, carded the joint best round of the day with a five under par 67.

With Huizing and another player currently on a red-hot run of form in the shape of Kennedy, Kim knows he is in for a real battle in what is set to be an enthralling finale.

“I hit it fine early on today but every putt I hit was burning the edges of the cup,” said the 24 year old Seoul native. “On the back nine at the 12th I made a double and then two more, but I just toughed it out and got birdie on 17 so that helped me out a bit.

“I’ve got to just keep it loose tomorrow and make a couple more putts. I made two crucial putts on 17 and 18 but to do well I need more of those. I need to get my confidence on the course back because with the wind out here it’s playing quite tough. I had a hard time adjusting to the conditions.

“Hopefully I get a nice start to the final round and keep that going throughout the round. I just have to work on my game a little bit now, get a good night’s sleep and hopefully get my routine going tomorrow.”

Huizing – whose remarkable debut season on the Challenge Tour is drawing comparisons to that of Martin Kaymer in 2006, when the German won twice with four more top fives and two top 20s in eight appearances – was delighted to have moved into contention for a second title in three weeks as he looks forward to playing in the final group once again.

“I went into it today pretty relaxed and I had to knock myself a few times just to get sharp,” said the former World Amateur Number Three. “Then I started playing with better concentration and while in between the shots I was keeping it relaxed, I was focussed over the shots. 

“I will probably be a little more aggressive tomorrow. All week, I have been really relaxed and not getting bothered about my position on the leaderboard and then suddenly you’re right up there. That is just confirmation that my game is good so I just need to do the same tomorrow.”

Kennedy, who signed for a two under par 70, was happy with his third round despite also carding a double-bogey and he was relishing the opportunity to vie for a maiden Challenge Tour title.

“At the start of the day I wanted to just give myself a chance to win this tournament and I have done that so I’m really pleased with how I played,” said the 28 year old. 

“I felt quite good on the front nine, like I have all week, and I got off to a nice start to close the gap. I find it makes it a lot easier when you gain a bit of momentum early on instead of having to push later in the round to catch up so that was good.

“It was tough out there though and the wind picked up a lot in those last few holes. That stretch is hard enough without any wind, but it will be good fun tomorrow and it’s great to be in amongst it.” 

Andrea Pavan (68) was lurking just two shots back on nine under par as the Italian chases a third victory of the season which would automatically seal his place on The European Tour and he was joined in tied fourth place by Frenchman Victor Riu and Switzerland’s Damian Ulrich.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1HUIZING, DaanNED18-15
2KIM, SihwanKOR18-13
3BROOKS, DanielENG18-12
4PAVAN, AndreaITA18-11
T5ELVIRA, NachoESP18-10
T5OTAEGUI, AdrianESP18-10
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