13th May 2014 | IGT Challenge Tour
Park surges to Race to USA lead at ERPM
After a birdie at the second and a bogey at the third, the Seoul golfer reeled in a string of five birdies on the trot from the fourth and two more on the back nine for a six-under-par 66.
Park leads the second event in the first Race to the USA series on six under 138 but has fellow GFG Academy members Herman Minnie, Lean Boezaart and Russel Franz, as well as amateur Keegan Steyn, on his heels.
Minnie produced an impressive 69 and Boezaart a 71 to trial on three under 141, while Franz overcame an early wobble for a 69 and a share of fifth with Steyn, who posted a 70.
Meanwhile overnight leader Alwyn Vorster, who struggled with the tough pin placements, battled to an 80 and a share of 14th on three over.
Park travelled to South Africa in November last year and used the IGT Tour’s Race to Q-School to prepare for the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School in January.
However, after missing the 72-hole cut by just one shot, the Korean golfer extended his stay to compete full-time on the country’s premier development tour this season.
The 22-year-old also joined the GFG Academy and set out some goals for 2014 with coach and owner, Graeme Francis.
“My one goal was to get my stroke average down to 70 and keep it there for a year, and it’s already improved from 72.2 to 70.77, but there is still a lot of work to do,” Park said.
“My other goal is to try and secure top-10 finishes in at least half of the 32 IGT Tour events this season.”
So far, the Seoul golfer has competed in 10 events and claimed a share of 10th, two sixth place finishes and two runner-up slots in his last five starts.
“I think it will be pretty great if I can get add another one this week, so I can get ahead of my target,” he said. “It was rough out there, especially on the back nine, because the pins were tucked on slopes and in awkward corners. They really tested our patience out there and I’m pretty happy that I could limit my bogeys to two.
“I am enjoying about the IGT Tour, because you compete against different guys each week and we play great courses. Sometimes, you play with pros, sometimes with amateurs, but you always trying to improve. It’s a good place to learn to compete and to improve.
The cut was set at 11-over-par 155, leaving 42 players to contest the final round.