Yannik Paul

Yannik Paul leads at the halfway mark. Image: DP World Tour website

Park Sanghyun, Yannik Paul lead in Korea

Germany’s Yannik Paul sits at the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage of the 2023 Korea Championship presented by Genesis.

Yannik Paul

Yannik Paul leads at the halfway mark. Image: DP World Tour website

Home favourite Park Sanghyun produced a big finish on Friday to sit alongside Yannik Paul at the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage of the 2023 Korea Championship Presented by Genesis.

After firing three front-nine birdies to turn in 33, 40-year-old Park dropped his first shot of the day at the 16th to fall one stroke adrift of early clubhouse leader Paul’s eight-under-par total with two holes to play.

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South Korea star on top

But the South Korean saved his best for last, completing an impressive up-and-down from around 25 feet on the 18th green to sign for a second-round 69 and grab a share of the lead.

German Paul made five birdies and a solitary bogey in the morning to post a second successive 68.

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First-round leader Antoine Rozner was one shot back in a tie for third alongside fellow Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera after a roller-coaster 74.

Rozner had held a four-shot overnight lead but found himself two behind at the turn after a turbulent front nine which saw him recover from back-to-back bogeys with two birdies before a triple-bogey seven on the ninth threatened to derail his challenge.

He bounced back with a birdie on the 16th and gave himself a good chance at the 18th but had to settle for a par and a seven-under-par midway total.

Lorenzo-Vera, meanwhile, made an eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys in his 65.

Park started brightly on Friday afternoon, picking up shots at the fourth and sixth before making it three birdies in four holes following a sensational bunker shot on the par-five seventh.

He then made eight successive pars before his first bogey arrived on the 16th but he responded with a sensational birdie at the last to make it a two-way tie at the top.

Park said: “I feel great that I could end with a birdie at the 18th hole.

“There are two more rounds so I don’t want to get complacent.

“With the tournament being on the DP World Tour as well as the KPGA, I want to prove that Korean players can have a chance to win on the DP World Tour.

“I think other players feel the same and that is why a lot of Korean players are playing well at the moment.”

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Yannik Paul started well

Yannik Paul started at the tenth tee and made birdies on the 13th, 16th and 18th to reach the turn in 33 blows.

After birdieing the long third, he gave the shot straight back on the par-three fifth.

But he holed his birdie putt from around five feet on the seventh to head into the weekend on eight under.

Yannik Paul said: “Yesterday it was a bit windier, but today the pins were really hard.

“I think they’re expecting quite a bit of wind over the weekend so I think they used all the hard pins today. 

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“The weather was really good. It was actually warmer than I thought. But yeah, the pins made it hard to get close to. And if you’re on the wrong side, you have absolutely no shot. I think you’ve just got to stay patient and wait for your chances.

“It’s just halfway through the tournament. I know a lot of stuff can happen, so just try to focus on myself and know the things that you can’t really control. Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn’t. So I just try to hit good shots and then I kind of see where I end up.”


Park Sanghyun
Home favourite Park Sanghyun. Image: DP World Tour website