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Chan Kim rallies to win Magnit Championship, moves into top 15 on Korn Ferry Tour Points List

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Chan Kim rallies to win Magnit Championship, moves into top 15 on Korn Ferry Tour Points List

    Written by Staff @KornFerryTour

    JACKSON TOWNSHIP, New Jersey – The path to the PGA TOUR has been long and winding for Chan Kim, but following a win at the inaugural Magnit Championship Sunday afternoon, the well-traveled 33-year-old and former Japan Golf Tour Order of Merit winner now stands on the doorstep of his final destination.

    Kim was one of three players (and the only the top-10 finisher) who carded an 8-under 64 in the final round at Metedeconk National Golf Club, where 54-hole co-leader Taylor Dickson’s course-record 10-under 62 was the only score under 65 through the first three rounds.

    “I knew I needed to shoot something low to try and give myself a chance, but 8-under is… I blacked out, I guess,” Kim joked. “When that flop shot went in on No. 12, I knew if I kept pushing I could give myself a chance. On No. 17, I hit one in there really good, and I felt like it was a putt I needed to make… when that one slid by I told my caddie, ‘We’ve just got to try and birdie No. 18 and whatever happens, happens.’”

    Kim made three consecutive birdies at the par-4 fourth, par-3 fifth, and par-5 sixth as he turned at 3-under par Sunday. He lost a stroke at the par-3 11th but bounced back with an eagle at the par-5 12th, followed by three consecutive birdies at the par-4 13th, par-5 14th, and par-3 15th. Kim’s birdie barrage took him to 19-under par and pulled him even with Dickson, who began the day tied for the lead and two strokes ahead of Kim. A closing birdie at the par-4 18th, coupled with back-to-back closing bogeys for Dickson handed Kim a three-stroke victory.

    “I think the No. 1 thing was confidence, believing in myself,” said Kim, an eight-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour whose most recent victory came last November. “Everybody around me, a lot of my friends, they’re always telling me, ‘You’re so good,’ but I for some reason wasn’t fully believing in myself, so that was the biggest thing.”

    Prior to earning Korn Ferry Tour membership last fall, Kim played one season at Arizona State University and later turned professional in 2010. Kim maintained an Arizona residence as he bounced around Q-Schools all over the world before he settled on the Japan Golf Tour in 2015.

    Kim’s professional career blossomed in Japan, as he won three times in 2017, once in 2019, and three more times en route to winning the circuit’s 2020-21 Order of Merit. As Kim climbed the Official World Golf Ranking, he frequently qualified for major championships and World Golf Championship events. Kim capitalized on his PGA TOUR playing opportunities and qualified for the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Finals, which also granted him an exemption for Final Stage of the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament.

    With a block of Japan Golf Tour exemptions secured and 30 PGA TOUR cards (up from 25) available via the Korn Ferry Tour’s season-long points list, Kim viewed last year’s Final Stage berth as an opportunity for two things: a more direct path to the PGA TOUR, and a break from the arduous travel to and extended stays in Japan.

    “I just figured it was time,” Kim said at Final Stage last November. “It would be nice to play closer to home. I would like to go home on my off weeks and sleep in my own bed.”

    Kim finished runner-up to Bo Hoag at Final Stage, ensuring he would play the first 12 events of the 2023 season. Although Kim’s game did not pop immediately on the Korn Ferry Tour, he stayed within striking distance of the top 30, waiting for the chance to notch a ninth worldwide victory.

    “I felt like I should be in the top 30, but I had a rude awakening,” said Kim, whose 8-under 64 Sunday tied his career-low round on the Korn Ferry Tour. “There’s so many good players out here, scores are going low every week. I haven’t been playing as well as I thought I should be playing, but this one means a lot.”

    Kim’s latest win – his first PGA TOUR-sanctioned victory in his 59th TOUR-sanctioned start – moved him from No. 54 to No. 12 on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List, a jump which validated his decision to play closer to home.

    “I knew this would be the fastest route to the PGA TOUR, so I knew I had to make a sacrifice in order to give myself a chance,” Kim said. “Moving inside the top 30, the PGA TOUR card is like the light at the end of the tunnel now. I can kind of see it.”

    The season-ending Korn Ferry Tour Finals, four events which feature elevated purses and points allocations, begin next week with the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Chevron. Upon the conclusion of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance, the top 30 players on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List will earn PGA TOUR membership for 2024.


    Chan Kim (1st/-20) became the third winner this season to open an event with a round of 70 or higher (2-under 70 in first round), joining Ben Silverman (71/The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic) and Pierceson Coody (72/The Panama Championship)

    Kim became the third winner this season to stand outside the top 40 through 18 holes (stood T46 after opening-round 2-under 70), joining Pierceson Coody (T75/The Panama Championship) and Ricky Castillo (T41/Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics)

    Kim is the 10th first-time Korn Ferry Tour winner this season, and the third such winner in the last four events (Trace Crowe/NV5 Invitational presented by Old National Bank; Alejandro Tosti/Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna)

    Korn Ferry Tour rookie winner and PGA TOUR University Class of 2023 alum Adrien Dumont de Chassart (T11/-10) became the sixth player declared #TOURBound, meaning he is assured of a place in the top 30 on the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour Points List at season’s end, thus earning PGA TOUR membership for 2024

    - Additional #TOURBound members: No. 1 Ben Kohles, No. 2 Rico Hoey, No. 3 Ben Silverman, No. 4 Alejandro Tosti, No. 5 Pierceson Coody

    - Dumont de Chassart, who finished No. 3 in the 2023 PGA TOUR University Ranking, will become the first PGA TOUR University alum to earn PGA TOUR membership via the Korn Ferry Tour the same year they concluded their collegiate career

    Dumont de Chassart and Kim shared the low round of the day, 8-under 64, with Joe Highsmith (T11/-10)

    Four-time Korn Ferry Tour winner Ben Kohles (T9/-11) returns to No. 1 on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List following his fifth top-10 of the season and first since winning the HomeTown Lenders Championship back in April; he previously held the No. 1 position for 15 consecutive events following his first win of the season at the Astara Chile Classic

    Taylor Dickson (2nd/-17), who is seeking his first PGA TOUR card in his third season on the Korn Ferry Tour, posts a career-high finish in his 72nd start on Tour and climbs from No. 57 to No. 31 on the Points List; his previous career-high finishes were a pair of solo-thirds as a rookie during the 2020-21 season (2021 NV5 Invitational presented by Old National Bank, 2021 Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper)

    Making his 40th career start on the Korn Ferry Tour, Mac Meissner (T3/-16) posts his second top-three finish of the season (PT2/The Panama Championship); his career-high finish as a rookie last season was a pair of T5s across 22 starts

    Rookie Wilson Furr (T3/-16) closes in 6-under 66 for his second top-three finish of the season (T2/AdventHealth Championship); his only other top-10 this season was a T7 at the HomeTown Lenders Championship, which he followed with a career-high finish at the AdventHealth Championship in his next start

    Making his 10th start since joining the Korn Ferry Tour via PGA TOUR University Class of 2023 performance benefits, Patrick Welch (T3/-16) records his first top-10 and third top-25 (T12/Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open; T12/Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank)

    Rookie Jacob Solomon (6th/-15), one of two 54-hole co-leaders, posts his first career top-10 on the Korn Ferry Tour; his previous career-high finish was T16 earlier this year at the Club Car Championship at The Landings Golf & Athletic Club

    New Jerseyans Ryan McCormick (T16/-8) and Chris Gotterup (T16/-8) both record top-25s in a return to their home state, with McCormick climbing to No. 20 and Gotterup remaining at No. 35 on the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour Points List

    Chris Naegel (T16/-8) records back-to-back top-25s for the first time in his career and moves from No. 165 to No. 138 on the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour Points List; he ended a streak of 10 consecutive missed cuts last week with his first top-25 since May 2021 (T24/2021 NV5 Invitational presented by Old National Bank) – which earned him a spot in this week’s Magnit Championship

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