If I win at the beginning of the season, I will be greedy for three wins.”
This is the goal for the 2023 season of Kim Min-gyu (22, CJ Logistics), who ranked 2nd in the Genesis prize money rankings of the Korea Professional Golf (KPGA) Korean Tour last year and 7th in Genesis points.
Kim Min-kyu, whom we met at a training ground near Bangkok, Thailand, said, “I was so happy after winning.” “I want to win more because of the excitement. This year, if I win the championship quickly, I will be greedy for 2-3 wins.”
Kim Min-gyu was classified as a cotyledon that he sang early on. In 2015, when he was in the second year of middle school, he was the youngest national team member to wear the Taegeuk mark. Two years later, in 2017, he made his professional debut on the European Tour (now DP World Tour), and won the D+D Real Czech Challenge the following year. It was the youngest win in European Tour history.
Last year’s season was a year of mixed joy and sorrow for Kim Min-gyu. In terms of results alone, he took a career high, winning his first career victory at his major tournament, the Kolon Korea Open. But it was just as disappointing as that. This is because the momentum, which had been devastating due to an unexpected traffic accident, was broken in the second half.
He participated in 11 competitions in the first half alone and won the top 10 in six competitions, including one championship. At the same time, he sprinted to the top of the Genesis points and Genesis prize money rankings.
However, he started walking downhill due to the aftereffects of a car accident he suffered while participating in the Asian Tour International Series Korea held in Jeju Island in August last year. It was a major accident to the extent that the vehicle he was riding in was scrapped, but fortunately, he was spared serious injury that would interfere with the player’s life.
After successfully completing treatment and rehabilitation, Minkyu Kim returned to the tour after two months through the Genesis Open held in October. However, due to his poor physical condition, his return match was abandoned.
Kim Min-gyu said, “Although he is still taking medicine, his physical condition has improved a lot. Because he was in such a big accident, he is worried about the trauma around him, but there is no trauma,” he said.
That’s not to say it’s nothing to worry about. He said, “Because I was injured, there are things that I can’t do separately, so I can say that my current condition is about 70%.” But when it comes down to it, I think I’ll be fine. I will prepare well.”
Compared to the first half of last year, the distance and short game ability have recovered to some extent. He said, “It’s not as good as it was before the accident, but the short game and distance have come back a lot.” This battery training is also focusing on accuracy.”
He revealed that he plans to focus on the Asian tour this season. So, following the tournament in Saudi Arabia, which opened on the 2nd, I embarked on a three-week expedition to the Middle East, including tournaments in Oman and Qatar. Kim Min-gyu expressed his determination, saying, “I will use it as an opportunity to go on the PGA Tour by accumulating world ranking points on the Asian Tour.”
He cited the last two tournaments he participated in after his injury as the most regrettable thing about last year. Kim Min-kyu was in the lead until the 2nd round at the Golfzon-Toray Open and LG Signature, the final match of the season, but his chance to win was ruined by sluggishness in the 3rd and 4th rounds.
In particular, in the final game, he took the lead by reducing 15 strokes in rounds 1 and 2, but finished the tournament in a tie for 17th in a roller coaster where he lost 3 strokes in rounds 3 and 4. Kim Min-gyu expressed regret, saying, “I felt my physical limitations due to the aftereffects of the injury, so I seem to have lost my concentration.” 안전놀이터
He also revealed his thoughts about LIV golf. Kim Min-kyu said, “If I do well on the Asian Tour, I will have a chance, so I can’t say ‘no’ and think about it.”
He said, “But the ultimate goal is to enter the PGA Tour. After watching the Asian Tour this year, I will think about whether I will try to qualify for the PGA Tour in the middle of the season or fill in the missing points on the Asian Tour. These days, I’ve been thinking, ‘It would be nice if I could play golf happily on the PGA Tour’.”