June 7 2011
By Zak Kozuchowski, PGATOUR.COM
PGA TOUR rookie Sunghoon Kang should have some extra momentum this week at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
The 24-year-old South Korean makes his debut at TPC Southwind on the heels of finishing as co-medalist in the U.S. Open sectional qualifying at Tunica National in Memphis, Tenn.
Kang shot rounds of 67-65 to tie with William Cauley, an amateur from Jacksonville. Fla., and claim one of the 10 spots available. There were 78 players in the field.
“Everything felt great,” Kang told the The Commercial Appeal after the round. “I haven't played as well on TOUR as I would have liked, but I had to miss five weeks in March and April because of military service."
Kang, a native of Jejudo, had to attend boot camp to fulfill South Korea’s service requirement. He is exempt from his country’s two-year military requirement, however, because he won a gold medal at the 2006 Asian Games.
Kang, who was a semifinalist at the 2004 U.S. Amateur Public Links, has missed his last five cuts. He is currently 195th in the FedExCup standings and has earned $64,920 this season.
His best finish was at the Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun in February, where he tied for 19th. He also held the first-round lead at the Farmers Insurance Open in January, but finished tied for 51st.