SAVANNAH, Ga. — Chan Kim, a 32-year-old well-traveled man and seven-time Japan Golf Tour winner, posted a 7-under 64 Saturday on the Magnolia course at Landings Golf & Athletic Club for the absolute lead of 36 holes. during the final phase of the Korn Ferry Tour qualifying tournament. Kim moved to 10-under par for the tournament and one stroke ahead of Argentina’s Alan Wagner, who held a two-stroke lead after an 8-under 63 first round Friday at the Marshwood course.

Besides propelling him to the top of the leaderboard, Kim’s 64 was notable for two reasons.

For one thing, the Magnolia course played almost 1.5 strokes over par in the first round on Friday, and just under 2.5 strokes over par in the second round on Saturday. Second, only five players in the final round of the Korn Ferry Tour 2021 Qualifying Tournament have shot a round of 64 or better on Magnolia.

Kim had a significant number of shots on the course with two eagles on her first four holes on Saturday. The first was with a 56-degree wedge at the par-4 10th, his first hole of the day, while the other was with an 8-iron at the par-4 13th. Kim also birdied the par-4 12th and 15th, meaning he played his first six holes at 6-under par.

“I definitely got off to a good start,” Kim said. “On #10 I actually thought it was going to be a long time and just heard it hit the pin. We were sort of looking for the big bounce and I guess it turned out fine, because there were no height marks anywhere. It was quite exciting. The next one, (Green No. 13) rushes in. I saw him tracing over the hill and then all of a sudden I just heard screaming. I do not know how to explain it. I didn’t know what was going on. I just had to reset and keep my head in the game.”

After a bogey at the par-4 18th, Kim bounced back with three consecutive birdies at numbers 1-3 and another at the par-4 fifth. Consecutive bogeys at the par-4 seventh and par-3 eighth left Kim with his 7-under 64.

“It’s definitely going to be one of the most memorable rounds,” Kim said.

Kim played one season (2008-09) at Arizona State University and had one of the best freshman campaigns in program history. Originally from Suwon, South Korea, Kim turned professional in 2010 and continued to live in the United States, playing in Gilbert, Arizona.

During the early years of his professional career, Kim tried his hand at PGA TOUR Q-School and many others around the world, including a streak in 2012 when he played seven different legs of Q- Schools in the United States, Europe and Asia. . While Kim played in Canada in 2011, on the Challenge Tour in 2013 and throughout Asia in 2014, he started playing mainly on the Japan Golf Tour in 2015.

Kim won the 2020-21 Japan Golf Tour Order of Merit, played in three of four major championships in 2022 and made the cut in four PGA TOUR events last season, highlighted by a T15 at the 2021 ZOZO Championship. and a T16 at the Open Puerto Rico. With those finishes, Kim racked up enough non-member FedExCup points for a spot in the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Finals, which in turn granted her a bye into the Finals this week.

Kim actually flew from Japan to the United States earlier this week, arriving Monday evening. He will also return to Japan next Tuesday as he intends to complete his season on the Japan Golf Tour.

“I’m just trying to follow my rest. I’m still pretty jet lagged so I’ll try to get some sleep and hopefully I’ll be well for the next day,” Kim said. “Everything I’m doing there now is just a bonus. After this week I hope to be able to play here, and that’s the main goal.

“I just thought it was about time,” Kim said of her decision to focus on golf in the United States. “I’m five years on the Japan (Golf) Tour as far as exemptions go, but it would be nice to play closer to home. I would like to go home during my weeks off and sleep in my own bed.

Kim also knows a thing or two about playing under pressure, as he played with Tiger Woods in the third round of the 2020 ZOZO Championship.

“It was obviously awesome, one of the best times of my life,” Kim said. “When I hit one of my low-punch drivers, he came up and said, ‘You just swiped a driver? I love this shot.’ For him to say that… I was shaking all the time. He’s someone I grew up watching.

The only other player to shoot a 7-under par or better on Saturday was Korn Ferry Tour qualifying tournament maestro Vince India, who shot a 7-under 64 on the Marshwood course. Including this week, India has qualified for eight of the final nine stages since the PGA TOUR Q-School became the Korn Ferry Tour qualifying tournament in 2013.

Round three tee times will be 8:00 a.m. to 10:12 a.m. local time at the first and 10th tees at the Marshwood and Magnolia courses. The top half of the field will play the Magnolia course on Sunday in order to play the Marshwood course, this week’s host course, in Monday’s final round.