Korea’s Sihwan Kim was having a ho-hum kind of day during the third round of the South African Open Championship on Saturday. And then things suddenly went a little crazy.
Well, it was perhaps a little more than ho-hum as he had made the cut on the number with a second-round 70, and he had advanced to a more than respectable four-under-par for his third round by the time he reached the eighth at Glendower Golf Club.
He parred his way around the turn until he made a bogey on 11. A birdie at 12 got things back on track. And then things went off the rails – in a good way.
An ace on the 14th and an eagle on the 15th catapulted him up the leaderboard and to a card of six-under-par 66 for a total of eight-under-par for the tournament.
“It was funny because I wasn’t hitting it too well today and then I got to 14 and just hit a good shot and it went in the hole,” he said.
“On 15 I hit an okay drive and an okay second shot, but it ended up much better than I thought it would. I made about a 15-footer for eagle and it turned my day around from an okay day to a great one!
“On 14 I thought about pitching wedge, but I knew that would be a bit short. I had 153 yards, so I took a soft nine and it pitched about two feet behind the hole and then I saw it disappear.
“On 15 I hit driver a little right and over the bunker. Then I hit a hybrid from about 265 yards out and chunked it a little bit. It landed in the middle of the green and fed to the left, stopped about 15 feet short. I had a right to left breaker and made it.”
The man who had a second-place on the Challenge Tour in the Kharkov Superior Cup behind Holland’s Daan Huizing was thrilled – and he got an ace in that tournament too! “I had one about two and a half months ago in Ukraine on the Challenge Tour and this one will be my fourth in my career, second in a tournament and first on European Tour,” he said.
He had to slow things down a little before he got carried away after the 14th at Glendower. “That’s how the game works. You don’t know what’s going to happen, so you just try to stay focused and calm down a little bit. You just look to finish well and grind it out,” he said.
“I actually didn’t hit it that well, so I’ll get some range work done and take it from there,” he said of the looming final round.