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Chan Kim makes first career PGA TOUR ace after learning of friend's passing

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Holes out with pitching wedge from 157 yards at Texas Children’s Houston Open

    Written by Staff, PGATOUR.COM

    HOUSTON – Call it divine intervention.

    One day after learning of a close friend’s passing, Chan Kim made a hole-in-one at the par-3 ninth hole in Friday’s second round of the Texas Children’s Houston Open, marking his first career PGA TOUR ace.

    Kim, a first-year TOUR member, took pitching wedge from 157 yards Friday on the front nine’s closing hole at Memorial Park Golf Course. The ball landed on the green’s front portion, some 15 feet short of the hole, and one-hopped into the cup.

    “After I made that ace … I just would have thought that maybe he was looking down,” Kim said Friday, “just trying to give me a miracle.”

    Chan Kim makes a hole-in-one on No. 9 at Houston Open

    Kim proceeded to card a second-round 67 at the Texas Children’s Houston Open for a 2-under 138 total, safely inside the cut line. His ace was the second at No. 9 since the event moved to Memorial Park in 2020 and the fourth overall.

    After learning of his friend’s passing on Thursday evening, Kim was particularly motivated to play well Friday – and he did just that.

    “From high school, we were on the same golf team," Kim said Friday. "Both him and his brother I've known for a while. We actually just played some golf when I was home before Mexico (Open at Vidanta). And we normally game a lot, so I'm a big 'Call of Duty' fan, so we literally played the week of THE PLAYERS. It was just kind of sudden.

    “Today was kind of a special round. Regardless of how it went, it was nice to play for something a little bit more than just myself.”

    The ace also made amends for a cruel break at this year’s Sony Open in Hawaii, where his tee shot at the par-3 11th hole on Thursday rattled the flagstick, but he subsequently made bogey and missed the cut that week by one stroke.

    “Getting a hole-in-one is very, very lucky, but I feel like the TOUR kind of owed me one because I flew one in on 11 at Sony and it popped out 60 feet and ended up three-putting for bogey,” Kim noted Friday. “I felt like I was owed one, for sure.”

    A late bloomer who spent some time playing the Japan Golf Tour, Kim, who earned his TOUR card via his top-30 finish on the Korn Ferry Tour last season, has gotten off to a solid start this year. He finished T14 at The American Express and T8 at the Mexico Open at Vidanta. This will mark his sixth straight made cut, including his maiden start at THE PLAYERS Championship two weeks ago.

    The Arizona State product, who still lives in Arizona, is 118th in the Official World Golf Ranking and 92nd in the FedExCup.

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