In golf, a 58 is the stuff of dreams. It’s a feat that has only been accomplished once on the U.S. Professional Golf (PGA) Tour (Jim Furyk in 2016) and only a handful of players on the world’s regular tours. Two of those came on the Japan Golf Tour (JGTO).
Kim Sung-hyun and Ryo Ishikawa (JPN) will battle it out at the 39th Shinhan Donghae Open ($1.4 billion in prize money), which begins on July 7 at Incheon Club 72 (Par 72, 7204 yards).
“When I shot 58, I hit it where I wanted it to go and putted it where I wanted it to go, and I don’t know if that will happen again, but as a player, I’m playing with the feeling of breaking that record every time I play,” said Kim Sung-hyun, who won the PGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year award last season and will play as a rookie on the PGA Tour in 2022-2023, at the tournament’s official press conference at Shinhan Bank’s headquarters in Seoul on Friday. Kim, who came to the United States from South Korea and Japan, shot a 58 at the 2021 JGTO event. He will be paired in the first round with Ishikawa, who also shot 58 in 2010. Ishikawa is one of the biggest names in Japanese golf, having played on the PGA Tour and been ranked as high as No. 29 in the world at one point.
The Shinhan Donghae Open, which began in 1981 and is the longest-running single-sponsored professional tournament in Korea, is co-sponsored by three tours: the Korea Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour, JGTO and Asian Tour. This year, 138 players from 17 countries will compete in the tournament.
Defending champion Kazuki Higa (JPN) will miss the event to focus on the DP World Tour, but Ishikawa will be joined by the likes of Keita Nakajima, who is currently second on the JGTO money list. “I’m playing well in Japan right now, and I’m looking forward to performing well in Korea,” Nakajima said. JGTO long-hitter Riki Kawamoto, who will be in the spotlight in a shot-for-shot battle with KPGA long-hitter Chan Min Chung, said, “I finished fifth in this tournament last year, and I also finished fifth in the Hana Bank Invitational co-hosted by the Korean and Japanese tours in June, so it’s time to move 사설토토 up a bit,” he said. The 2019 Shinhan Donghae Open champion J.J. Kruger (South Africa), as well as three-time Asian Tour winner Miguel Tabuena (Philippines), Sadom Wakkanjana (Thailand), Daichi Ko (Hong Kong), Gaganjit Bhullar (India) and Siddhiker Rahman (Bangladesh), are among the other Asian powerhouses in the field.
“The Shinhan Donghae Open is a tournament I’ve wanted to do well in since I was young,” said Lee Jae-kyung, the top-ranked player on the target points list. If I win, I can get a seeding for Japan and the Asian Tour. It’s a meaningful tournament where you can fulfill your dreams,” she said.