Lee Gyeong-hoon 안전놀이터(32, CJ Logistics), who became the first Korean to win two consecutive victories in a single PGA tour last year, is now challenging for the third consecutive year.
Lee Gyeong-hoon will sortie for the PGA Tour AT&T Byron Nelson (total prize money of 9.5 million dollars) to be held at TPC Craig Ranch (par 72) in McKinney, Texas for four days starting on the 12th (Korean time).
Lee Kyung-hoon won this competition for two consecutive years in 2021 and 2022. He is confident enough to say that he is in good harmony with TPC Craig Ranch, where the tournament is held.
He defeated his tough opponents on both occasions and reached the top. He beat Sam Burns (USA) by three strokes in 2021, and defeated Jordan Spieth (USA) by one stroke last year. Burns is currently ranked 13th in the world, and Spieth is 10th.
In particular, he had the spirit of writing the record for the most under par in 72 holes of the tournament for two consecutive years. In 2021, he changed the previous record of 23 under par with a final total of 25 under par, and last year he reduced one stroke to 26 under par.
I feel good lately. He also performed well on the last day of the PGA Tour Wells Fargo Championship held last week and tied for 8th in the top 10. This is the second top 10 this year since the Sentry Tournament of Champions (tied for 7th) in January.
The feel of the shot is good, and the game is played on a familiar and comfortable course.
It is not easy for one player to win three consecutive championships in a single tournament, not to mention the PGA Tour.
Even in this tournament, which started in 1944, the only person to record three consecutive victories was Tom Watson (USA) from 1978 to 1980. Watson is a ‘legend’ golfer who has recorded 39 victories in the PGA career, including 8 victories in major tournaments.
In addition, Sam Sned (1957-1958) and Jack Nicklaus (1970-1971) and others tried to win the championship for three consecutive years in this competition, but all of them failed to achieve the great feat with only two consecutive losses.
‘Golf Emperor’ Tiger Woods (USA) also lifted the trophy in 1997, which is the only record of winning the tournament.
If Lee Kyung-hoon achieves the great feat of winning three consecutive titles this year, he will be able to stand tall as the world’s strongest golfer, at least in this tournament.
This tournament is a regular PGA Tour tournament with a total prize money of $9.5 million. Since it is not classified as a ‘special tournament’ worth more than 20 million dollars, it is not to the extent that the top rankers are all out.
However, as it is a tournament with a deep tradition, a considerable number of strong players participate.
This year, the lineup is formidable, including World No. 2 Scotty Scheffler (USA), last year’s runner-up Spieth, former world No. 1 Jason Day (Australia), and Matsuyama Hideki (Japan).
It is also characteristic that as many as 8 Korean players, including Lee Kyung-hoon, participate in this tournament.
Kim Joo-hyung (21, Nike Golf) and Kim Si-woo (28, CJ Logistics), who secured full seeds this season, will participate, and Ahn Byung-hoon (32, CJ Logistics), Kim Seong-hyun (25, Shinhan Financial Group), and Roh Seung-yeol (32, Zibent) will participate. The back goes out.
Here, Bae Sang-moon (37, Kiwoom Securities) and Kang Seong-hoon (36) compete as former winners of this competition. Bae Sang-moon won the championship in 2013 and Kang Seong-hoon in 2019.
Lim Seong-jae (25, CJ Logistics), ranked 18th, the highest among Korean players, will enter Korea this week and compete in the Korea Professional Golf (KPGA) Korean Tour Woori Financial Championship.