Sports

Kim set for Enjoy challenge
to get back on top

Kim Kyung-tae hopes to use this week’s Enjoy Jakarta PGA Championship at the Emeralda Golf Club as a springboard back into the world’s top rankings.

“I’ve practiced a lot for this week and I still have tomorrow. I’ll try my best to do well here and go to the next international event,” South Korean Kim told a press conference at the tournament site in Cimanggis, West Java, on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old golfer, better known as KT Kim, is among some 150 participants at the US$1 million Enjoy Jakarta PGA Championship that will tee off its four-day competition on Thursday.

He once ranked 18th in 2011 before dropping to 100th due to inconsistent play in several tournaments.

The Thailand Open two weeks ago saw him finish a joint 44th and he missed the cut at the Malaysian Open last week.

Disappointed with the results, he said he was looking to bounce back.

“I will try to get to the top 10 and I’m quite confident,” he said.

Kim started his professional golf career in 2006. He stole the spotlight after winning amateur and professional golf competitions,including the 2006 Samsung Benest Open, the 2006 Pocari Enerzen Open and the 2007 SBS Tomatobank Open.

“This year, I will try to focus more on Japan tournaments. I will try to win at least three tournaments in Japan. I will also try improve my ranking into the 50s,” he said.

Liang Wenchong of China sees the Jakarta PGA Championship as possible leverage in his pursuit for a place at the 2016 golf Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“Wherever I play this year, my main goal is to get some points to improve my world rank. This is all to prepare for the 2016 Olympics,” said the four-time One Asia winner.

Meanwhile, Daniel Chopra of Sweden said the competition would be a sentimental event for him.

“I have many great memories playing golf in Indonesia during the early days of my career in 1992,” he said.

This week’s event has special significance for Kim as it is sanctioned by both OneAsia and the Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO), with earnings counting toward both money lists. In 2010, he became the first Korean to win the Japan Tour’s Order of Merit on the back of victories at the Diamond Cup, Japan Open and Mynavi ABC Championship, and he feels that the burgeoning relationship between the two tours is great for the game.

“The tie up between the JGTO and OneAsia is excellent,” Kim said in a release by OneAsiaMedia. “These joint sanction events allows us to compete with OneAsia players. They have experience and are good competition for us.”

Among other notable players in the tournament are defending champion Andre Stolz of Australia, Jeev Milkha Singh of India, Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, Simon Dyson of England, and Shingo Katayama of Japan. The field also includes some 20 Indonesian players, spearheaded by young star Rory Hie.

Paper Edition | Page: 20

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