2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games team bronze medalist Kim Dong-min (25-NH Nonghyup Bank) earned his first victory in the 66th edition of the Korean Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour (1st Division).

The Blackstone Icheon Golf Club North and West Courses (par 72-7270) in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, hosted the 2023 KPGA Korean Tour’s 5th KB Financial Livechampionship on May 25-28, with a total prize fund of 700 million won.

Kim Dong-min finished with a final total of 8-under-par 280 (70-70-73-67) to win by three strokes over the second-place group, earning a first-place prize of 140 million won, a seeding in the 2024-2025 Korean Tour, and 1,000 Genesis Points.

It took him 2797 days (7 years, 7 months, 28 days) to reach the top of the leaderboard after starting his Korean Tour career at the 2015 Descente Korea Munsingwear Match Play. If we expand the scope to the Srixon Tour (2nd Division), he won two tournaments in the 2020 season, making this his second victory in KPGA-organized tournaments.

Kim Dong-min is performing at the top of the 2023 Korean Tour, ranking first in Genesis Points, second in prize money, second in stroke average, third in average putts, and fourth in average birdies. Below is the full interview after winning the 5th KB Financial Livechampionship.

  • It was your first win. How did it feel to win?

I didn’t expect to win after the third round. After playing the front nine, I saw that there wasn’t much of a gap between me and the leader. I played my best until the end, and even the nervousness of waiting for the win made me feel happy.

I knew I was tied for the lead on the 17th (par-4). I made a bogey and knew I needed at least a birdie on the last hole to force a playoff or win the tournament. I debated whether to hit my second shot with a 2-iron or a 3-wood. I decided to go for an eagle rather than a birdie, so I chose a 3-wood and it landed close to the pin and I was able to make eagle. The final putt was for eagle.

  • Why were you so far off the pace?

I lacked accuracy off the tee. Blackstone Icheon GC is a challenging course, so I tried to play it safe. It was a factor in my victory.

  • Since the Hyundai Offshore Choi Kyung Joo Invitational in 2022, your performance has been good.

His confidence in his driver shot has increased. I had a lot of OBs that went right. I was too stubborn to hit it straight. I’ve been working on my driver by myself to improve my fade, and now I’m feeling more confident off the tee than I did in the first half of last year.

  • What are your plans for the future?

I won the title, which was my goal. Now I want to gain confidence and add one more win this year to top the Genesis Points and win the Genesis Grand Prize. I want to top the Genesis Points and participate in the final stage of the Q-School on the U.S. Professional Golf Confederation Tour (Division 2).

  • What are your plans for competing in the Descente Korea Match Play as the No. 1 player on the Genesis Point?

I participated in the Descente Korea Match Play once before (in 2015), but I was eliminated in the round of 64. This time, I want to take the momentum of my victory and reach new heights.

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