Kim seeks redemption and first victory
August 20, 2016
By Helen Ross , PGATOUR.COM
- Si Woo Kim lost to Aaron Baddeley in a four-hole playoff at the Barbasol Championship last month. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Here are a few observations following the third round of the Wyndham Championship where Si Woo Kim followed up a course-record 60 at Sedgefield Country Club with a solid 64 that moved him to 18 under and into a four-stroke lead over Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello.
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KIM FOCUSED ON STRONG FINISH
K.J. Choi gave Si Woo Kim a pep talk after the 21-year-old lost a playoff to Aaron Baddeley at the Barbasol Championship last month.
Kim, who had closed with a 63 that Sunday and lasted four extra holes, remembers the Korean veteran telling him not to worry.
“Next time (you) have a chance, you have a lot of chances because, you know, you can do it,” Kim recalled. “I said, yes.”
Interestingly, Kim’s next chance comes Sunday at the Wyndham Championship, a tournament Choi won in 2005, albeit at another golf course in Greensboro. He takes a four-stroke lead into the final round, too, after capping off his 64 with a birdie on the 18th hole.
“Good confidence for tomorrow,” Kim said. “Then I keep trying same tomorrow.”
The “same” has been stellar so far this week at Sedgefield. Kim, making just his 38th PGA TOUR start, ranks first in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, Tee to Green and Overall. Woo’s caddy, Mark Carens, has been impressed.
“He’s hitting it really good,” Carens said. “It’s fun to watch. This week he’s obviously hitting it the best he has all year. I’m just try to stay out of his way.”
Carens understandably is a little biased but he thinks Kim is a superstar in the making. He qualified for the TOUR when he was 17, spent two seasons on the Web.com Tour and is now just coming into his own.
“Now he’s getting it,” said Carens, who has worked for Kim for the past year. “… Being fearless and being 21and being as good as he is, that’s pretty good stuff.”
SHOT OF THE DAY
Shot of the Day
Peter Malnati's spectacular ace on No. 16 is the Shot of Day
CABRERA BELLO KEEPS UP STRONG PLAY
Seven days removed from his fifth-place finish at the Olympics, Rafa Cabrera Bello finds himself in Greensboro trying to make the Wyndham Championship his first PGA TOUR victory.
He opted to head north from Rio de Janeiro to Greensboro rather than fly to the Czech Republic, where the European Tour plays this week, because he thought he’d be fresher. Looks like he made the right choice.
Cabrera Bello owned the first-round lead after a 63 and Saturday’s 65 gave him sole possession of the second. Not only can the Spaniard solidify a spot on the European Ryder Cup team with the win, he could potentially play his way into the FedExCup Playoffs.
But Cabrera Bello, who has four international victories, must win -- and join the TOUR -- to make the chase for the $10 million bonus. This is his 31st TOUR start and his Wyndham Championship debut.
He’s a fast learner, though. Cabrera Bellow knows he’ll have to go low at Sedgefield, a Donald Ross gem that nearly gave up two 59s on Friday.
“There is damage to be done,” Cabrera Bello said. “The greens are brilliant. You play good and give yourselves chances you will roll putts and that's what I'm going to try to do tomorrow, just play one shot at a time and stay patient, wait till the end.
“Of course it would be great to have a good strong start and just catch up with the leaders. Going to wait for my opportunity and try to take the chance.”
CALL OF THE DAY
Peter Malnati's hole-in-one on No. 16.
Free play-by-play coverage of Sunday's third round streams from 1-6 p.m. ET on PGATOUR.COM.
2010 FEDEXCUP CHAMP IN THE HUNT
Jim Furyk, who is tied for third with Luke Donald and Kevin Na at 13 under, is one of four FedExCup champions in the top 10 on the leaderboard.
Furyk won the $10 million bonus in 2010 while Billy Horschel and Brandt Snedeker, who are among four players tied for sixth at 12 under, are the 2014 and 2012 FedExCup champs, respectively. And Bill Haas, one of four tied at 11 under, won the season-long race in 2011.
All four are safely in the Playoffs. Snedeker came in sixth, Haas is 31st, Horschel stands 87th and Furyk, who was sidelined by a wrist injury until February, is 106th -- but they want more.
And all four have a lot of ground to make up if they are going to put their name on the Sam Snead Cup. That said, Sedgefield has been yielding low scores this week – including a course record 60 and 61 on Friday.
There’s no one who knows how to go low better than Furyk who shot a TOUR record 58 in the final round of the Travelers Championship. He also has a 59 on his resume and knows how important picking your spots to be aggressive on Sunday will be.
“I think this is a fun golf course to play,” Furyk said. “You know, the Catch-22 with this place … guys are firing low numbers. I get it. If you get the ball in the fairway, you have short irons in your hand, you have the best players in the world, someone is going to fire a good number.
“But, the rough is a certain height, it's hard to control the golf ball and the greens are, honestly, I put them in the top-five of the most severe we play all year. You get the ball on the wrong side of the hole you're going to see a lot of three-putts out here.
“You get impatient. Lot of birdies made, lot of low scores but if you get impatient it can jump up and bite you, make a lot of bogies as well.”