Kolon Korea Open 2013: Daily Leaderboard Analysis, Highlights and More
The OneAsia Tour's 2013 Kolon Korea Open featured plenty of local talent at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club, but most eyes were on Rory McIlroy, who was the clear headliner of the field.
This was an ideal way to regain some of that form against lesser competition, as he sought his first win since the DP World Tour Championships, Dubai last November.
Read on to find out how McIlroy did in his first tournament since exiting the FedEx Cup playoffs at the BMW Championship, along with the other notable players who teed it up this week in South Korea.
Note: Leaderboard information is courtesy of PGA Australia's official website.
Day 4 Recap
Rory McIlroy seemed to have shot himself out of the tournament with a third-round 75, but he stormed back in Sunday's final round with a four-under 67.
Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to emerge victorious, as Kang Sung-hoon finished one stroke ahead of McIlroy with a total of 280 over the four days, which was four under par overall.
McIlroy wound up in joint second place with Mo Joong-kyung.
There were plenty of opportunities for McIlroy to take the tournament over. He hit 16 out of 18 greens in regulation in Round 4, which translated to five birdies. Although it wasn't the worst conversion rate, McIlroy needed to muster a bit more magic to make up for Saturday's stumble.
A bogey at the 16th hole was his only dropped shot of the day, yet it proved rather costly. BBC Sport documented the two-time major winner's comments after the outcome was decided:
I only missed two greens and had so many chances, but it was like the story of yesterday - I just didn't hole enough putts. I created so many more chances today that it could have been 61, 62. It just wasn't to be. I didn't birdie any of the par fives, which was disappointing. I felt like it could have been so much lower the last couple of days.
It wasn't the precise result McIlroy was looking for, but it at least gives him some momentum moving forward. What makes it more disappointing is that McIlroy began the round 10 shots behind 54-hole leader Kim Hyung-tae, who imploded with a round of 77.
Credit Kang Sung-hoon for playing well down the stretch, though, as the South Korean native birdied three of the final five holes—including the par-five 18th—to cap off a winning round of 69.
Day 3 Recap
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It was all about Rory McIlroy again on Day 3, but not for the same reasons as Day 2.
Instead of adding to his challenge for the lead, McIlroy instead fell out of contention for good, hitting a four-over 75 in a dramatic descent to 13th place on the overall leaderboard.
Putting seemed to be the problem for the Northern Irishman, as he missed shots from all over the green, including some short ones towards the back end of his round that should definitely have been holed.
McIlroy is now 10 shots back from Kim Hyung-tae after the South Korean hit a five-under 66. This increased his cushion at the top to four shots with an impressive performance that equalled the best round of the tournament—also his own—and makes it difficult to bet against him on the final day.
The overnight leader Hong Soon-sang initially stayed in touch, but a series of bogeys on the back nine saw him drift back to second and concede that four-shot deficit to Kim.
The other highlight of the day came from Park Sang-eon, who hit a hole in one on the par-three 13th, winning himself a BMW 750Li worth $180,000 in the process.
Park is tied for 53rd place, so the car will be of great comfort to him going into the final day. Elsewhere, it's Kim's tournament to lose.
Day 2 Recap
Rory McIlroy's second round moved him one stroke closer to the lead and was a one-shot improvement from Thursday. However, his fluctuating form and low confidence were still transparent to all, after a particularly turbulent day.
Just six of his 18 holes were parred, with seven birdies and five bogeys appearing on his card of 69.
The world No. 6 began on the back nine, hitting two fine birdies on 10 and 13, punctuated by a bogey on 12.
His play then temporarily unravelled over a three-hole stretch, with the Irishman carding a hat-trick of dropped shots along 14 to 16, remedied by an impressive run of five birdies across the next 10 holes.
A closing bogey at the ninth highlighted his prolonged bout of inconsistency, although McIlroy will be pleased to find himself just two strokes back and still very much in contention.
The lead is held by Soon-sang Hong, who hit a three-under round of 68 to post a halfway score of five-under.
Kim Kyung-tae hit the round of the day, a five-under 66, moving to four-under-par and into a tie for second with Kang Sung-hoon and Hwang In-choon.
McIlroy is well placed just a stroke further back, tied with Yu Gyoung-yoon and Ik-jae Jang in fifth.
Day 1 Recap
It was a solid if not spectacular start for McIlroy, who fired a one-under par round of 70 and trails leader Ik-Jae Jang by three strokes.
The Northern Irishman is in a tie for 12th but well within striking distance. Jang's round was bolstered by an eagle at the par-four 10th—something that can't be counted on in a consistent manner.
McIlroy could have easily been further up the leaderboard and had it to level par after a bogey at the third and a birdie at the fifth in Round 1. However, a double bogey—yet another instance of where he's made an uncharacteristic big number—put him back to plus-two at the par-three 13th.
As he's been known to do at times in his young career, the 24-year-old responded with a birdie at the very next hole, and closed out the day with two consecutive birdies to get back into red figures.
Save for American Eric Mina, Canada's Ryan Yip and Scotsman Simon Yates, 13 other players either tied or ahead of McIlroy are native players.
Yip and Yates got off to hot starts—the former birdied four of the first five holes, but did make bogeys at No. 2, No. 7 and No. 9 to offset those and wound up with a two-under 69.
Two birdies to start the round for Yates were backed up by another at the par-three seventh, but he stumbled with dropped shots at No. 9, No. 10 and No. 16.
Thankfully, he closed with a birdie at the par-five last and a round of 70.
Mina made the turn in two over par but fired a 30 on the back nine to finish with a 67—just one shot off Jang's leading pace.