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Justin Suh takes 54-hole lead at Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance

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Daily Wrap Up

    Written by Preston Edwards @KornFerryTour

    NEWBURGH, Ind. –With just 18 holes remaining in the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour season, 25-year-old Justin Suh took his first career lead and stood alone atop the leaderboard after the third round of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance. Suh carded a bogey-free 8-under 64, the second-lowest score Saturday afternoon at Victoria National Golf Club, taking him to 17-under par for the tournament and one stroke ahead of his playing partner, Tano Goya.

    Suh birdied four of his first five holes (Nos. 1, 2, 4, and 5), followed by four more at Nos. 9, 12, 15, and 16. The San Jose, California native’s 17-under 199 marks the lowest 54-hole score in a Korn Ferry Tour event at Victoria National, breaking the previous record of 16-under 200 established by Tom Lewis and Greyson Sigg in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

    “It was a hot start,” Suh said. “I wasn't making very long putts. It was just kind of 8-footers, 10-footers. We were hitting our numbers. It was, like I said, it was a very simple round, nothing got out of hand; we were always in position.

    “Playing with Tano (Goya), I know he's around the bubble, but he's a great friend,” Suh said. “Today, I wasn't really even focusing on my game. I was fist pumping for him when he made a birdie, so it was super cool to see him (have) a good round. We played a bunch together early in the year. We were always paired in that time slot, so we became great friends. To see him (have) a good round today, it's big momentum for him to get that (PGA TOUR) card tomorrow.”

    The two friends will have another chance to cheer each other on for a second day in a row, as they will play in Sunday’s final group alongside Nicholas Lindheim, who sits in a three-way T3 at 15-under par.

    Suh hopes he will cheer Goya to his first PGA TOUR card, while Goya will root Suh on as he chases the No. 1 ranking in the Korn Ferry Tour’s season-long points race. A win for Suh projects to move him to No. 1, which awards fully exempt status for the 2022-23 PGA TOUR season, an exemption for the 2023 PLAYERS Championship and, for the first time in history, an exemption for the 2023 U.S. Open.

    “I know I need a win to lock it up,” said Suh, who entered the week having already secured his first PGA TOUR card and ranked No. 8 on the season-long Korn Ferry Tour Eligibility Points List. “If that happens, cool, but I think we're just looking to move up no matter what.”

    After four international events to open the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour season, Suh logged 15 top-25s in his next 19 starts, including nine top-10s en route to his first PGA TOUR card. Suh has four top-10s in his last five starts, pushing him to the verge of the No. 1 ranking, a title previously won by multi-time PGA TOUR winners Sungjae Im (2018) and Scottie Scheffler (2019), as well as six-time Korn Ferry Tour winner and 2022 FedExCup Playoffs qualifier Stephan Jaeger (2020-21).

    Suh turned professional in 2019 following a decorated amateur career. A former No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, Suh played four seasons at University of Southern California, where he was a 2018 and 2019 All-America First Team selection, the 2018 Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year, and 2018 Pac-12 Championship individual medalist. Suh also represented the United States at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Cup, playing alongside two-time major championship winner Collin Morikawa and PGA TOUR rookies Sahith Theegala and Davis Riley, both of whom qualified for the 2022 FedExCup Playoffs.

    Suh burst onto the professional scene with Morikawa and Viktor Hovland, with the three playing together as sponsor exemptions at the 2019 Travelers Championship. Suh made 23 PGA TOUR starts as a professional, mostly as a sponsor exemption, but struggled to find his footing.

    Suh eventually played his way to Final Stage of the 2021 Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament, where he finished on the number for guaranteed starts in the first eight events of the 2022 season.

    Final-round tee times will run from 7:30 a.m. through 9:30 a.m. local time off the first and 10th tees.

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