Korea’s S.H. Kim snaps cut streak to give himself FedExCup Playoffs chance at 3M Open


Korean rookie S.H Kim ended a frustrating run of three missed cuts in a row when he fired a bogey-free 7-under 64 at the 3M Open on Friday to give himself a fighting chance of qualifying for the lucrative FedExCup Playoffs.


In need of a strong finish to break into the top-70 which is the cut-off for the Playoffs, Kim rebounded from an opening 71 by sinking seven birdies at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minnesota to rise to tied 14th place on 7-under 135.


American Lee Hodges continues to set a scorching pace in the PGA TOUR’s penultimate event of the Regular Season after adding a 64 to his first round 63 to lead by four strokes on 15-under. Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama battled to a 70, which included a bogey on his last, for T10 on 8-under.


Starting the day from the 10th tee, Kim's round was carried by his excellent putting, resulting in birdies on six of his opening nine holes, including five consecutive gains from Hole Nos. 11 to 15 – the first time he has recorded five consecutive birdies on TOUR. He needed only 24 putts, gaining 4.93 strokes over the field to be ranked 1st in Strokes Gained: Putting for the day.


"I had a very good start. I didn't miss any putts which set the tone for the day. I managed to stay bogey-free which is always a pleasant accomplishment," said Kim, who is currently ranked 82nd in the season-long FedExCup points standings.


As things stands, Kim is projected to move up to No. 74, with next week’s Wyndham Championship being the final Regular Season event. He is determined to play his way into the top-70 to sweeten a rookie season which already includes one top-10 and seven other top-25s.


"We still have two tournaments left, and I'm going to give my utmost effort,” said Kim. “I haven't been playing well lately, so I'm really glad to have finished well today, and I'm looking forward to the remaining rounds."


Also making the cut were Kevin Yu of Chinese Taipei, who stands at 6-under following a 66 while compatriot C.T. Pan and Japan’s Kaito Onishi, who shot 70 and 67 respectively, finished the day on 4-under, which is the cut line. Korea’s S.Y. Noh, a one-time TOUR winner, faces a three-foot par putt on his last hole on Saturday morning to make the weekend rounds on the number after play was suspended due to darkness.


Overnight leader Hodges maintained his pursuit for a maiden PGA TOUR victory with another impressive 64 to establish a four-shot lead over second-placed Tyler Duncan. Hodges was bogey-free again as he made seven birdies.


“Same thing as yesterday. I've got a great attitude out there. Me and my caddie, we're 70-something on the points list, like what do we have to lose, you know?” he said. “We've committed to every shot we've hit so far, which has been great. We'll continue to do it, because what do we have to lose.”


Defending champion Tony Finau (66) is amongst those bunched in a share of third place on 10-under while former FedExCup champion Justin Thomas missed the halfway cut after a 71 which included two double bogeys that put a dent on his hopes to make the Playoffs with one event remaining.


PARTIAL Second-Round Notes – Friday, July 28, 2023


Weather: Partly cloudy. High of 89. Wind NE 8-12 mph, gusting to 18 mph. The first round, suspended for the day Thursday at 6:59 p.m. CT with 21 players remaining, resumed Friday at 7:56 a.m. and concluded at 8:43 a.m. The second round began as scheduled at 6:45 a.m. and was suspended at 4:23 p.m. due to dangerous weather. The second round resumed at 6:20 p.m., a delay of 1 hour, 57 minutes, and was suspended for the day at 8:53 p.m. due to darkness with six players to complete their round. Play is scheduled to resume at 8:15 a.m. Saturday. Estimated tee times for round three are 9:25-11:35 a.m. off two tees in groups of three.


PARTIAL Second-Round Leaderboard

Lee Hodges                         63-64—127 (-15)

Tyler Duncan                       64-67—131 (-11)

Kevin Streelman                 64-68—132 (-10)

J.T. Poston                          66-66—132 (-10)

Tony Finau                          66-66—132 (-10)

Brandt Snedeker                 64-68—132 (-10)


Second-Round Lead Notes

· One second-round leader/co-leader has won the 3M Open (2020/Michael Thompson)

· 12 second-round leaders/co-leaders have won in individual stroke-play events on TOUR this season (most recent: Brian Harman/The Open Championship)

· Projected 36-hole cut of 4-under 138 would represent the lowest cut in tournament history


Lee Hodges (1st/-15)

· 127 marks his low 36-hole total on TOUR and sets the tournament 36-hole scoring record, bettering Bryson DeChambeau’s 128 in 2019

· Marks his first 36-hole lead/co-lead on TOUR

· One of two bogey-free players through 36 holes (Tyler Duncan)

· Enters the week at No. 74 in the FedExCup standings, 15 points behind No. 70 (K.H. Lee); top 70 after next week’s Wyndham Championship advance to the Playoffs

· Second appearance at the 3M Open (T16/2022; was T11 through 54 holes before final-round 73)

· Two top-10s in 29 starts this season (T7/THE CJ CUP in SC, T6/Valero Texas Open)

· Best finish on TOUR: T3/2022 American Express

· Qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs in his rookie season on TOUR (2021-22), finishing No. 76 in the FedExCup standings


Tyler Duncan (2nd/-11)

· Seeks second TOUR title after defeating Webb Simpson in a playoff to win the 2019 RSM Classic

· 7-under on the front nine and 4-under on the back nine this week

· One of two bogey free players through 36 holes (Lee Hodges)

· Making fourth start at 3M Open (83rd/2019, MC/2021, T45/2022)

· Two top-3 finishes (3rd/The Honda Classic, T3/Corales Puntacana Championship) and 17 missed cuts in 27 starts this season

Miscellaneous Notes


· Kevin Streelman (T3/-10) posts his sixth consecutive sub-par round at TPC Twin Cities and is now 6-under in six rounds on hole No. 18 at this event (68-65-69-70-64-68); qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs in 15 consecutive seasons and currently sits No. 120 in the FedExCup standings

· J.T. Poston (T3/-10) makes 12 birdies in 36 holes, with 10 of the 12 birdies coming on par-4 holes (par-3 8th/R1, par-5 12th/R1); making third start at this event (T28/2021, T11/2022)

· Defending champion Tony Finau (T3/-10), at No. 10 the highest ranked player in the FedExCup standings in the field this week, ranks second in Proximity with 24 feet, 2 inches (when play was suspended)

· Brandt Snedeker (T3/-10) began bogey, double bogey before adding seven birdies en route to a 3-under 68; was T11 in 2021 in his only prior start at the 3M Open; member of the winning US Ryder Cup team in Minnesota in 2016; won his first Korn Ferry Tour title in Minnesota at the 2006 Scholarship America Showdown at Somerby

· 2023 Charles Schwab Challenge winner Emiliano Grillo (T7/-9) seeks his third top-3 finish in his fourth appearance at the 3M Open (T3/2020, MC/2021, T2/2022); a top-10 result this week would mark a career-best seven top-10s in a single season on TOUR; he had six top-10s in 2018

· Making his first appearance at the 3M Open, David Lipsky (T7/-9) equals his low round on TOUR with a 7-under 64 (four times, most recently R4/2022 Mexico Open at Vidanta)

· Matt Kuchar (-6) began the week at No. 56 in the FedExCup standings and seeks to advance to the FedExCup Playoffs for a 17th consecutive season; Adam Scott is the only other player to advance to the Playoffs in each season since its inception in 2007

· 50-year-old Stewart Cink (-5) posts an 11-stroke improvement, following his first-round 74 with an 8-under 63, tied for low round of the day with Doug Ghim (-5), who also cards 74-63

· Justin Thomas (-2) makes two double bogeys to card even-par 71 and is projected to miss his sixth cut in 19 starts this season; entered the week at No. 75 in the FedExCup standings; top 70 after next week’s Wyndham Championship advance to the Playoffs

· Former University of Minnesota golfer Alex Gaugert (+6), who advanced in a playoff at the Monday qualifier to make his first start on TOUR, played in the same group as Eric van Rooyen (-3), for whom he caddies on the PGA TOUR; both shoot second-round 71s

· Kelly Kraft withdrew during the second round