FLYING FINISH HANDS KIM GALGORM LEAD
Northern Ireland’s Cormac Sharvin in share of second heading into third round
DAY TWO REPORT: Galgorm Resort & Spa NI Open, presented by Modest! Golf
Friday, August 17th, 2018
Courtesy of europeantour.com
Tournament: 2018 Galgorm Resort & Spa NI Open, presented by Modest! Golf
Venue: Galgorm Castle Golf Club, Ballymena
Twitter/Hashtag: @galgormcastle #NIOpen
European Tour Highlights: 2017 NI Open
Minkyu Kim eagled his final hole of the day to soar up a packed leaderboard and take a one-stroke lead at the halfway stage of the Galgorm Resort & Spa NI Open, presented by Modest! Golf.
The young Korean was one shot behind a group of four players already in the clubhouse on 10 under par, but after making a three at the par-five ninth the 17-year-old rose to the top of the pile after 36 holes at Galgorm Castle.
Kim had started brightly with four birdies over his opening nine holes, and despite a double-bogey at the par three fifth, his late flourish saw him sign for a 67 and take a one-shot advantage ahead of France’s Victor Perez, Denmark’s Mark Flindt Haastrup, Wales’s Stuart Manley and home favourite Cormac Sharvin.
Having already triumphed once this season the Korean knows how to get the job done – something he believes will work in favour this weekend.
“Today my putting was really, really good. My long game was okay but it was my short game that was the difference today.
“I holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the 16th which was my best moment from today. I nearly ruined my score on the par three fifth where I hit such a solid three iron that it went over the green – then I hit a bad approach and I three-putted.
“I went on to finish with an eagle four holes after that and because of that I am feeling very positive about tomorrow.
“I have been in this position before so I feel confident. I have won once this year already and I think that experience will help me over the weekend.”
Also in the hunt is Northern Ireland’s Sharvin following a bogey-free six under par round of 65. The 25-year-old chose to spend last week practising at home with his coach Paul Vaughan – a decision which he feels was vindicated by his form this week.
“I felt really prepared for this week, he said.” “Mentally I am in a much better place and am swinging a lot better too as I have been struggling a bit the last five weeks.
“The course was playing really nice, after the really dry spell we had this year. The fairways are still really lush and the greens are running really nice. I managed to hole a few putts today too, so that was nice.
“I kept giving myself chances and to convert two towards the end of the round is nice, but tomorrow is a new day. I just have to commit to every shot tomorrow and see where that takes me.”
Also flying the flag for the home nation is Jonathan Caldwell, who sits in a share of ninth place after a five under par round of 66 today.
Tournament Ambassador Michael Hoey narrowly missed the cut by one stroke after finishing on one-over with a second round 73. The 39-year-old was left to rue six dropped shots in three holes from the 15th.
A total of three Northern Irish players sit inside the top 25 at the halfway stage, and are sure to attract significant crowds when the tournament restarts at 7.20am tomorrow.
For live scoring and updates visit europeantour.com
At niopen.golf download the tournament app or search for NI Open on the App Store or Google Play. Live streaming from 3-5pm on Saturday. Tickets for the NI Open are free, register online.