Los Angeles, California, 19 February, 2021 – After Thursday, Tae Hoon Kim could officially have a fleet of Genesis vehicles at home.
The South Korean made a big impression in his PGA TOUR debut, finishing his opening round at The Genesis Invitational with at 2-under 70, good enough to tie for 19th place overall. American Sam Burns leads the field at 7-under 64.
Kim’s big moment came on the par 3 16th when he used a 7-iron from 168 yards out to land mere feet from the pin. Two bounces and a short roll later, Kim had a hole-in-one for eagle and a 2021 Genesis G80.
It’s not the first time he has brought home a new Genesis in the last five months.
Last October, Kim won the 2020 Genesis Championship on the Korean Tour, earning him a sponsor’s exemption into this week’s elite field in addition to a GV80, his first Genesis vehicle. It was his only win of the 2020 season, first victory on the Korean Tour since 2018 and his fourth overall win. The following month, the 36-year old brought home a GV70 after capturing the Korean Tour’s order of merit for the 2020 season.
“The first two cars he got, he gave those to his parents and he has not decided yet on the new one,” Kim said through a translator.
Kim’s debut round on the PGA TOUR got off to a fast start, as he opened with a birdie and eagle on Nos. 10 and No. 11, respectively, to start the day. After a bogey at 14, Kim recorded his ace on No. 16 to move to 4-under through nine holes.
Countryman K.H. Lee, who finished runner-up at the Waste Management Phoenix Open two weeks ago, shot a 70 while Si Woo Kim, Sung Kang, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and Chinese Taipei’s C.T. Pan carded 71s. Xinjun Zhang of China posted a 76.
Kim’s two eagles through the first seven holes made him the fourth player on record (since 1983) to make two eagles on the back nine at the Riviera Country Club in the same round. The others are Scott McCarron (1997), Sergio Garcia (2012) and Phil Mickelson (2017).
That momentum appeared like it might continue as he made the turn, with Kim adding another birdie on the first to move to 5-under. It was an impressive start for a player who hasn’t spent much time on the course since the Korean Tour ended in November.
“His first PGA TOUR tournament and actually he's not ready for the tournament because the Korean Tour was ended last year and he didn't prepare that much, but right now, so he kind of enjoying the round,” Kim said through a translator.
Kim’s early momentum disappeared soon after, though, as he shot a combined 4-over over the next three holes to drop back to 1-under. But he rallied late with a 13-foot birdie at the 8th, pulling him even with 15 others, including defending champion Adam Scott.
“So he started with a good eagle and made a hole-in-one, but in the middle of the game he kind of lose some score, but he came back and then he enjoy the game,” Kim said through a translator.
Kim will begin his second round at 8:19 a.m. PST on Friday.
All action from PGA Tour - The Genesis Invitational Day - 2 will be LIVE on EUROSPORT and EUROSPORT HD from 00:30 Hrs (12:30 am IST) onwards on Saturday, 20th February, 2021.
McIlroy, Johnson Shine at 'Driving Relief' Charity Golf Event
PGA Championship postponed over coronavirus concerns
Korea’s An and Im enjoy strong starts at Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
Spieth Season? Recent Play Hints At Major Comeback For Major Winner
Lahiri finishes T-39 as Grace grabs a win for his father in Puerto Rico
Lahiri closes bitter-sweet round with an eagle for 2-under 70 in Puerto Rico
Atwal will play for Dad and Tiger as he joins Lahiri at Puerto Rico Open
Japan’s Inamori Looks To Propel Career At WGC-Workday Championship At The Concession
Ace earns Kim new car at The Genesis Invitational
Lee enjoys career best runner-up finish at Waste Management Phoenix Open
Superb finish keeps Lee in contention at Waste Management Phoenix Open
Korea’s Lee stays in title hunt at Waste Management Phoenix Open
Korea’s Lee enjoys day in the sun with 67 for T6 at Waste Management Phoenix Open
Korea's An ready to ride on fans' return at Waste Management Phoenix Open
Lahiri opens with solid 68, lies 21st at the Farmers Insurance; Reed, Noren lead
Lahiri looks to minimise errors ahead of Farmers Insurance Open
Korean’s Kim Aims To Ride On Momentum Ahead Of Farmers Insurance Open
Korea’s Kim earns thrilling one-shot victory at The American Express
Resurgent Kim shares third round lead after 67 at The American Express
Lahiri off to a fine start at tougher Stadium Course at The American Express
Pan and Im move into contention at The Honda Classic
Korea’s IM overcomes nerves to notch opening win at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
Amidst golfers leaving for the LIV Tour, Tiger Woods notches billionaire status
The countdown for the Rocket Mortgage Classic 2022 begins!
Fabulous Finau wins second-straight event with Rocket Mortgage Classic 2022
India’s Aditi Ashok, and Diksha Dagar, among others set to pace with the world’s best women golfers at AIG Women’s Open
AIG Women’s Open: South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai wins her first major with a playoff win over In Gee Chun
Joohyung Kim cards a nine-under 61 to win the Wyndham Championship
FedEx St. Jude Championship: Best picks for this week
Will Zalatoris Wins $2.7 Million at the 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship
PGA Tour BMW Championship 2022: All you need to know before the tournament
Patrick Cantlay defends the BMW Championship title after a hard-fought final round
Hailey Davidson to become the first transgender woman to win the coveted LPGA Tour card
The lineup for the PGA Tour Championship 2022 revealed
Rory McIlroy wins Tour Championship for third FedEx Cup title
Rory McIlroy: Why the Irishman is currently the best golfer in the world
Jon Rahm: Underappreciated player poised to dominate golf
2022 Fortinet Championship Predictions: Homa, Pendrith, and McNealy all set to bag the title