Home favourite Park Sanghyun produced a big finish on Friday to sit alongside Yannik Paul at the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage of the 2023 Korea Championship Presented by Genesis.
After firing three front-nine birdies to turn in 33, 40-year-old Park dropped his first shot of the day at the 16th to fall one stroke adrift of early clubhouse leader Paul’s eight-under-par total with two holes to play.
But the South Korean saved his best for last, completing an impressive up-and-down from around 25 feet on the 18th green to sign for a second-round 69 and grab a share of the lead after German Paul made five birdies and a solitary bogey in the morning to post a second successive 68.
First-round leader Antoine Rozner was one shot back in a tie for third alongside fellow Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon after a roller-coaster 74 that included three birdies, two bogeys and a double-bogey..
Scotland’s Scott Jamieson, who tied Lorenzo-Vera for the low round of the day with his 65, was then amongst six players on six under par.
Yannik Paul: The weather was really good. It was actually warmer than I thought. But yeah, the pins made it hard to get close to. And if you’re on the wrong side, you have absolutely no shot. I think it’s just got to stay patient and wait for your chances.
It’s just halfway through the tournament. I know a lot of stuff can happen, so just try to focus on myself and know the things that you can’t really control. Sometimes it goes away, sometimes it doesn’t. So I just try to hit good shots and then I kind of see where I end up.
Park Sanghyun: All together the round was OK and I had a lot of birdie chances, but I regret now that I didn’t go lower in the first round. It was great to end the round with a birdie on the 18th today though.
There are two more round so I don’t want to get complacent. With the tournament being on the DP World Tour as well as the KPGA, I want to prove that Korean players can have a chance to win on the DP World Tour. I think other players feel the same and that is why a lot of Korean players are playing well at the moment.
Antoine Rozner: It’s never easy to come back after such a low score as yesterday but I felt pretty good, and to be honest, after seven holes I was hitting some amazing shots and it didn’t turn out the way I wanted to.
Hit the pin on number three made a bogey out of it. Unfortunate to hit a bad shot on nine. Hit the cart path out of bounds. The type of things that maybe yesterday would have been different.
I think the ball striking especially on the front was good. I’m going to try to keep that in mind looking to the weekend. The back nine was a little bit more of a struggle but I managed to still shoot one under on the back nine. So a good fight. I’m still in contention for the weekend.
Scott Jamieson: Yesterday seemed a bit of a struggle all day, I wasn’t quite on point off the tee and I didn’t take chances when I was able to but today was a different story. A little better off the tee and hit a lot of really good shots. Sometimes days just click and it’s nice and easy.
I was in the second group yesterday morning and it didn’t feel like there was a nine under out there. Obviously Antoine (Rozner) was four shots better than anyone else. The rest of the field was so packed after one round and you know that a good round at any point in the week will give you a big jump. More so the earlier you do it.