Kim leads Saint-Omer Open after 36 holes with birdies on last two holes

Sihwan Kim at the Saint-Omer Open
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Sihwan Kim is using his playoff loss in a U.S. Open qualifier as motivation this week at the Saint-Omer Open.
By
PGA.com news services

Series: European Tour

LUMBRES, France – First-round co-leader Sihwan Kim of South Korea birdied his last two holes Friday to shoot a 2-under 69 and lead by a stroke after the second round of the Saint-Omer Open.

Kim made three birdies and a bogey to remain on top of the leaderboard with a 6-under 136 total. He is playing his first season in Europe and finished 11th at the Madeira Islands Open in Portugal last month.

SAINT-OMER OPEN

The Saint-Omer Open debuted in 2003, and has been played at Aa Saint Omer Golf Club in northern France in each of its 10 seasons.

Darren Fichardt of South Africa also had a 69 to move into second place at 5 under.

Englishmen Adam Gee and Simon Wakefield shared the overnight lead with Kim, but they shot 72s to drop to third at 139. Simon Thornton of Ireland and Wil Besseling of the Netherlands were tied for fifth place at 140.

Kim, starting at the 10th with eight successive pars before he birdied the 18th and also the eighth and ninth -- dropping his solitary shot at the par-3 second -- took advantage to move to 6 under as conditions became tougher later in the day.

The 23-year-old, playing his first season in Europe, could have been playing in the U.S. Open in California this week, but earlier this month he was the unlucky player to miss out in a five-man playoff in a qualifier at Walton Heath.

"I've been having horrendous luck for the last two weeks and I was really gutted to miss out in that playoff," he said. "So I'm happy that I'm getting a bit luckier this week and if I could do well here it would make up for it a bit. It would be nice to get some payback for that one."

South African Justin Walters and Italian Andrea Perrino had the best rounds of the day, shooting 68s, to lift themselves into a tie for seventh.

Former Ryder Cup player David Howell comfortably made the cut after a second-round 70 left him one over heading into the weekend.

Defending champion Matthew Zions also made the weekend after a 72 left him 3 over.