7th June 2022 | Big Easy Tour
Kim’s 65 catapults him to the top of the leaderboard alongside Hendler at Huddle Park
An eagle on the 14th helped Dongkwan Kim to a second-round of seven-under-par 65 in the Altron Big Easy Tour tournament at Huddle Park Golf Club, propelling him to a share of the top spot with overnight leader, Ricky Hendler on 11-under-par, on Tuesday.
“I made a five on that hole yesterday,” said Kim, recalling how he played the par-five 14th. “I had 123 in. The funny thing is that until the sixth hole, I thought that hole was a par-four and I thought I’d dropped on that hole. Today, I hit my driver a bit into the wind; hit it nicely and had 125 and a pitching wedge. It was a seven-metre putt, so yeah, my putting was good today.”
Kim made four straight pars to get his round going and then birdied the fifth and sixth holes. Two more pars on the seventh and eighth followed before Kim made another birdie before the turn. That birdie on nine was followed by another on 10, and then another on 12, before his eagle on 14 made its way onto his card and sealed a bogey-free round.
“I didn’t want to force things,” adds Kim. “and I think I played well. I made some long putts today and with Huddle Park being reasonably short, I played a lot of wedges today. I felt like I was losing shots when I didn’t make birdies but I told myself to stay patient and that was my mindset for the whole round.”
His effort on moving day earned him a spot alongside Hendler at the summit, with the overnight leader producing a fine round of 67 to keep his spot atop the leaderboard.
Hendler was three-under through his first five holes on moving day after a hat-trick of birdies on the third, fourth and fifth holes. He made more gains on the seventh, walking away with a birdie there that was followed by another on the ninth.
Bogey-free and assured on the front nine, the left-hander kept things steady after the turn with back-to-back pars helping him stay tuned in. But an unwanted bogey on 12 entered his card. He kept his cool and made pars on 13 and 14. Birdies on 15 and 16 got Hendler going in the final stretch but a bogey on the last hole ensured he was not too far out of reach for Kim and the rest of the field.
“I was playing very well today and I was five-under through nine, with a three-putt,” said Hendler who plays out of Dainfern Golf Club. “I played well the whole day and I wanted to give it a go on the back nine because I was playing really well. I hit the ball well, hit my irons really good too, just a lot of three-putts. There were some tricky pins today.”
Taking up the third spot on the leaderboard after round two was Reinhardt Blaauw whose 66 on moving day helped him to a tournament total of eight-under-par. Jason Froneman, Tumelo Molloyi, Slade Pickering, Keaton Slatter, Luan Boshoff, Coert Groenewald and Nicholaus Frade share the fourth spot on seven-under-par for the week.
The Big Easy Tour was founded in 2011 with support from Ernie Els and counts current international star Christiaan Bezuidenhout among its former Order of Merit winners.