Chan Kim secures first PGA TOUR card with win at Albertsons Boise Open
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Written by Staff @KornFerryTour
BOISE, Idaho – Chan Kim officially locked up his first PGA TOUR card in historic fashion Sunday at the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Chevron, as he carded a second consecutive bogey-free 7-under 64, totaled 28-under 256 and tied the fourth-lowest 72-hole score in Korn Ferry Tour history, in addition to becoming the first player since the Tour’s establishment in 1990 to win an event without making a single bogey.
Kim, who won last week’s inaugural Magnit Championship, also became the 12th player (and 13th occurrence) in Korn Ferry Tour history to win back-to-back events. The last occurrence of back-to-back wins on the Korn Ferry Tour came in 2021, when Cameron Young and Mito Pereira both recorded back-to-back victories across four consecutive weeks.
“This is what I came here to do,” said Kim, who became the seventh player declared #TOURBound, signaling he is assured of finising in the top 30 on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List and earning PGA TOUR membership for the 2024 season. “That was my goal from the beginning of the year. I took the risk of coming over here to play instead of just playing in Japan.”
Lowest 72-Hole Scores in Korn Ferry Tour History
|250 (-30)||Stephan Jaeger||2016 Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae|
|254 (-26)||Norman Xiong||2022 Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics|
|255 (-29)||Steve Wheatcroft||2011 Melwood Prince George’s County Open|
|256 (-28)||Chan Kim||2023 Albertsons Boise Open presented by Chevron|
|256 (-28)||Martin Piller||2015 Albertsons Boise Open presented by Chevron|
|257||Five Players||Last: Paul Haley II, 2022 Memorial Health Championship|
Lowest 72-Hole Scores Relative to Par in Korn Ferry Tour History
|-30 (250)||Stephan Jaeger||2016 Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae|
|-30 (258)||Daniel Chopra||2004 Henrico County Open|
|-29 (255)||Steve Wheatcroft||2011 Melwood Prince George’s County Open|
|-28 (256)||Chan Kim||2023 Albertsons Boise Open presented by Chevron|
|-28 (256)||Martin Piller||2015 Albertsons Boise Open presented by Chevron|
|-28 (260)||David Kocher||2022 Price Cutter Charity Championship|
|-27||Eight Players||Last: Paul Haley II, 2022 Memorial Health Championship|
Kim played the first three holes of Sunday’s final round in 3-under par, making a birdie at the par-5 second and eagle at the par-5 third. After consecutive birdies at the par-4 ninth and 10th, it appeared Kim would lap the field and win in dominant fashion.
However, David Kocher, a two-time Korn Ferry Tour winner who entered the week with a career-low round of 62, made some history of his own at Hillcrest Country Club.
Kocher eagled the par-5 16th and birdied the par-4 18th as he recorded a 12-under 59, the 10th sub-60 round in Korn Ferry Tour history. Kocher joined Mac Meissner and Michael Feagles as the third player to card a 59 this year, marking the first time in Tour history three sub-60 rounds were logged in a single season. Kocher’s 59 was also the second sub-60 round posted at the Albertsons Boise Open, one of three events played every year since the Korn Ferry Tour’s inaugural 1990 season.
|Score [RTP]||Player||Tournament (Round – Date), Course, Par, Yardage [Stats]||Finish|
|58 (29-29*) [-12]||Stephan Jaeger||2016 Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae (Round 1 – July 28), TPC Stonebrae, Par 70, 7,024 yards [12 birdies]||Won|
|59 (29-30) [-12]||David Kocher||2023 Albertsons Boise Open presented by Chevron (Round 4 – August 27), Hillcrest Country Club, Par 71, 6,880 yards [10 birdies, one eagle]||2nd|
|59 (29-30*) [-12]||Michael Feagles||2023 BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD SYNNEX (Round 1 – June 8), Thornblade Club, Par 71, 7,065 yards [12 birdies – birdied last five holes]||T15|
|59 (29-30*) [-12]||Mac Meissner||2023 LECOM Suncoast Classic (Round 2 – April 21), Lakewood Ranch Golf Club – Commander, Par 71, 7,113 yards [10 birdies, one eagle]||T16|
|59 (28-31*) [-12]||Sam Saunders||2017 Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance (Round 1 – September 28), Atlantic Beach Country Club, Par 71, 6,849 yards [13 birdies, one bogey – birdied last six holes]||T2|
|59 (29-30*) [-12]||Russell Knox||2013 Albertsons Boise Open presented by Chevron (Round 2 – July 26), Hillcrest Country Club, Par 71, 6,807 yards [eight birdies, two eagles]||T12|
|59 (30-29*) [-12]||Will Wilcox||2013 Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank (Round 4 – July 14), Willow Creek Country Club, Par 71, 6,952 yards [10 birdies, one eagle]||T3|
|59 (28-31*) [-12]||Jason Gore||2005 Cox Classic (Round 2 – August 5), Champions Run, Par 71, 7,145 yards [nine birdies, two eagles, one bogey – played last six holes at 7-under par]||Won|
|59 (27-32) [-11]||Doug Dunakey||1998 Miami Valley Open (Round 2 – June 4), Heatherwoode Golf Club, Par 70, 6,730 yards [10 birdies, one eagle, one bogey – three-putt bogey on No. 18]||T2|
|59 (27-32*) [-13]||Notah Begay III||1998 Dominion Open (Round 2 – May 14), The Dominion Club, Par 72, 7,020 yards [nine birdies, two eagles – hole-in-one on par-3 third, 9-under 27 on front nine]||T6|
* -- denotes No. 10 tee start
Kocher’s furious rally took him to 26-under 258 for the week, marking the second-lowest score by a runner-up in Korn Ferry Tour history. Only Rhein Gibson, who totaled 23-under 257 and finished seven strokes behind Stephan Jaeger at the 2016 Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae, posted a lower score as a runner-up on Tour.
“I knew for sure somebody was going to go low today,” Kim said. “I was watching the leaderboard the whole day. Then I heard a roar on No. 16… to shoot 59 in the final round is just unbelievable golf. He gave me a run for my money, and I just had to keep my head down and really get after it.”
Kim birdied the par-4 12th and reached 27-under par, but Kocher’s 59 only left him with a one-stroke cushion down the stretch. A two-putt birdie at the par-5 16th gave Kim an insurance stroke he didn’t actually need in the end.
Sunday’s win made Kim the third multi-time winner on the Korn Ferry Tour this season, joining Pierceson Coody and Ben Kohles. It also marked Kim’s 10th victory worldwide, with his previous eight wins coming on the Japan Golf Tour.
Kim, a native of South Korea who grew up in Hawaii, turned professional in 2010 after two seasons at Arizona State University and played Q-Schools all over the world, searching for a circuit to play full time. Kim eventually landed on the Japan Golf Tour in 2015, and he spent eight years chasing Official World Golf Ranking points and PGA TOUR membership via non-member FedExCup points at major championships (he qualified for 12 of them) and World Golf Championships.
Kim’s back-to-back wins are all the more stunning considering the fact, just three weeks ago, he simply hoped to finish top 75 on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List and maintain membership for next season. Prior to last week’s win in New Jersey, Kim stood 54th on the Points List with three missed cuts and a T66 in his last four starts.
In his mind, the only lower points in his career were a 2016 slump which sent him back to Japan Golf Tour Q-School, and a back injury after a breakout 2017 season which saw him win three times and finish T11 at The Open Championship. Kim saw eight different doctors in the United States and Korea and, although he avoided surgery, ultimately missed all of 2018.
Kim returned to form at the 2019 Japan Open Golf Championship, one of the tour’s major championships. Two years later, Kim won thrice more and finished atop the Japan Golf Tour’s 2020-21 Order of Merit, earning a five-year exemption on the circuit.
Last season, 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.
For Kim, who maintained a residence in Arizona while he played in Japan, it was time to walk another path to the PGA TOUR.
“For some reason, I felt like I was getting a little too comfortable out there,” Kim said. “When the world ranking points were great, it was great, but now that the world ranking points dropped out there and there’s 30 cards here compared to 25 last year, I just felt it was the right time to come over. And on my off weeks I can sleep in my own bed, so that’s a bonus.”
Seeing as last year’s Albertsons Boise Open was where Kim’s Korn Ferry Tour quest began, there was perhaps no more fitting venue for Kim’s #TOURBound declaration.
“It has been a long journey,” Kim said. “The end goal was always to play the PGA TOUR, and I’d love to No. 1 in the world. It’s going to be a grind, but I enjoy it, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Chan Kim (1st/-28) becomes the sixth 54-hole leader/co-leader to win on Tour this season
Kim becomes the first player to win back-to-back Korn Ferry Tour events since Cameron Young and Mito Pereira combined to win four consecutive events in 2021
- Cameron Young – May 23, 2021 (AdventHealth Championship) and May 30, 2021 (NV5 Invitational presented by Old National Bank)
- Mito Pereira – June 6, 2021 (UNC Health Championship presented by STITCH) and June 13, 2021 (BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD SYNNEX)
Including the final seven holes of last week’s Magnit Championship, Kim has played 79 consecutive holes without a bogey
David Kocher (2nd/-26) entered Sunday’s final round with a career-low score of 8-under 62 (2023 Astara Golf Championship presented by Mastercard/Round 1) and a career-low score relative to par of 9-under 63 (2022 Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper/Round 1)
Kocher’s 59 is the second final-round sub-60 round in Korn Ferry Tour history (Will Wilcox/12-under 59/2013 Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank)
Thomas Rosenmueller (3rd/-22) cards career-low round of 8-under 63 and records first top-10 in his 42nd career start on Tour
Four-time Korn Ferry Tour winner Ben Kohles (T4/-21), who shared the 54-hole lead with Kim, posts sixth top-10 of the season and second in as many weeks (T9/Magnit Championship) to maintain the No. 1 position on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List
Jacob Bridgeman (T4/-21) matches career-high finish (4th/2023 Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna) and posts third top-five finish of season (T5/Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS)
Rookie Wilson Furr (T6/-20) posts fourth top-10 of season and second in as many weeks (T3/Magnit Championship) to move from No. 40 to No. 28 on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List; he is the only player to move into the top 30 this week
Vince Whaley (T6/-20) and RJ Manke (T18/-17) were the only two players who moved into the top 144 on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List, earning spots for the Simmons Bank Open for the Snedeker Foundation, the second of four Korn Ferry Tour Finals events