Korean Kim careers into Finnish lead

8/1/2013 12:41:24 PM
Sihwan Kim during the second round of the Swiss Challenge ()
Sihwan Kim during the second round of the Swiss Challenge ()
Sihwan Kim continued his incredible run of form on the European Challenge Tour as the Korean stormed to the top of the leaderboard midway through the opening day of the Finnish Challenge thanks to an eight under par round of 64.

Kim’s runner-up finish at the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge last week, where he was leading after the second and third rounds, rounded off a stunning July for the 24 year old which comprised of three top fives and a top 20 finish.

The Orlando-based player started August just as he left off the previous month as he carded two eagles - including one at the par four sixth, where he holed out from 150 yards - and six birdies on the way to a one shot lead on eight under.

“I had a great month last month and I just want to keep it going,” he said. “I’ve been playing a lot so I'm getting used to the courses out here and getting used to playing regularly, not worrying too much about how my swing looks and just trying to find something.

“The biggest difference has been my putting. I've been holing a lot more putts than any other time of the year so it’s been good. 

“I didn’t hit it too well today but I kept it near the hole and made some putts. Then I had the two at the sixth, with an eight iron, and that helped me out quite a bit.

“I'm getting used to seeing the ball dropping in the hole and that helps me visualise my putts so it’s a big help.”

On a day of low scoring in benign, if somewhat rainy, conditions at the beautiful Kytäjä Golf, Challenge Tour debutant Brandon Stone was among those players just a shot behind Kim on seven under par.

The South African, who is widely tipped for big things after an impressive college career in the USA, got his first appearance on the tour off to a perfect start as he opened with three birdies on the trot.

He carded four more birdies in a bogey-free round of 65 to move to within a shot of the lead early on, alongside Englishman Tyrrell Hatton who also signed for a flawless seven under par round.