Lee Tae-hee, who had been struggling at AONE CC, leads KPGA Championship 2R… Kim Jong-duk, 62 years and 4 days old, becomes the oldest player to make the cut.

“Actually, my goal for this tournament was to make the cut.” 안전놀이터

Veteran Lee Tae-hee, 39, who is in his 17th season on the Korean Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour, shaved four strokes off the lead for the second straight day at the 66th KPGA Championship ($1.5 billion in prize money) at A-ONE CC (par 71-7138) in Yangsan, Gyeongnam, a course he described as “difficult.”

Lee shot a 4-under 67 with five birdies and one bogey in the second round on Monday to total 8-under 134 and take a two-stroke lead over tied for second place Heo In-ho, Hwang Jung-gon, Jung Chung-mil and Baek Seok-hyun (6-under 136). Lee, who made four birdies without a bogey the previous day, said after finishing at the top of the morning group, “It was a good day. Nothing in particular went wrong, it went well,” she said with a smile.

Lee has four career victories, including big events such as the 2018 Genesis Championship and the 2019-2020 GS Caltex Mae Kyung Open, but has struggled at the KPGA Championship, Korea’s oldest golf tournament, held at A One CC. Aside from a tie for 13th in 2016, he has missed the cut three times (2017, 2019, 2020), tied for 47th in 2021 and tied for 45th in 2022.

“My scores were weirdly bad, so this year I’ve been playing patiently, saying I’ll wait and see if I don’t make a birdie, and I’m getting good results,” he said, adding, “My primary goal was to make the cut, but I’ll play the remaining rounds calmly.”

Kim Jong-duk, a 1990s star with nine career KPGA victories, carded three birdies and two bogeys to finish one stroke back in a tie for 45th (even-par 142), extending his own KPGA record for the oldest player to make the cut to 62 years and four days, set last year. “As long as I am physically fit, I want to do my best to break the record,” said Kim Jong-duk, “and I will challenge Choi Sang-ho for the oldest cut on the KPGA Korean Tour (62 years, 4 months).”

2017 champion and last year’s runner-up Hwang Jung-gon carded five birdies without a bogey to shoot a daily best 5-under 66 and move into a tie for second place.

Seok Hyun Baek, who shared the lead after a 6-under 65 on the first day, was unable to improve on his score with an even-par 71, while Hyung Joon Lee dropped three strokes and slipped to a tie for 16th at 3-under 139. Lee Jae-kyung, bidding to win for the second straight week, shaved two strokes off his score to join Lee and Hyung-joon.

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