Lee Jung-hwan, who returned to the field after military service, has taken a one-stroke lead at the 66th KPGA Championship (1.5 billion won in total prize money).
Lee carded five birdies and two bogeys for a three-stroke total of 8-under-par 205 on the third day of play at the par-71 A-one Country Club in Yangsan, Gyeongnam, giving him a one-stroke lead over a four-way tie for second place with Yang Ji-ho, Kim Tae-ho, Choi Seung-bin and Park Jun-hong.
Lee won his first title at the 2017 Kaido Golden V1 Open and followed it up with a second at the 2018 Golf Zone-DYB Education 안전놀이터 Tour Championship. He returned to the Korean Tour this year after serving in the military and will be looking to win his third title.
Lee, who has played in eight tournaments this year and has two runner-up finishes at the GS Caltex Mae Kyung Open and KB Financial Livechampionship, said, “In both tournaments where I finished runner-up, the guys who won did better than I did. I think I’m doing well enough just to have a chance to win. I’m not impatient to win the title at the moment. But for this tournament, I’m a little greedy (laughs).”
Yang, who won his first title at last year’s KB Financial Livechampionship, will be looking to repeat as the runner-up after carding four birdies and two bogeys for a 7-under-par 206 total. Yang was caddied by his wife, Kim Yoo-jung, for the tournament.
Kim Tae-ho, who recently signed a sponsorship deal with conglomerate LS, finished four strokes back in a tie for second with five birdies and one bogey. After the tournament, Kim said, “My motivation to win is clear. It’s my main sponsor, LS. It gives me a lot of confidence after signing with them. However, I will not be impatient to win the title.”
Lee Tae-hee, who led the day before, dropped two shots to finish at 6-under-par 207, tied for sixth with 2019 winner Lee Won-joon (AUS) and Lee Tae-hoon (CAN). He is two shots off the lead and has a good chance of making an upset.
Kim Jong-duk, 62, who set the record for the oldest player to make the cut at the KPGA Championship the previous day, dropped a stroke to finish tied for 46th at 1-over par 214.