The hottest golfer entering the WGC-HSBC Championship is the man has dominated the Japan Tour and taken him the Japan Tour Money List title.
Kyung-Tae Kim fired a final round 69 to win the Mynavi ABC Championship, his fifth win of the season. Kim's victory secured him the Japan Tour Money List title, and there are still five tournaments left this season.
Surprisingly, despite Kim's dominance of the Japan Tour this year, this was Kim's first wire-to-wire victory this season. He began the tournament with a five under par 66, and while others may have caught him in the middle of rounds, Kim found a way to take the lead at the end of every round. That was because Kim made most of his birdies on the back nine. Kim was a combined seven under par on the back nine this week, as opposed to the front nine, which he played in one over par the last two days.
Kim's dominance on Tour can't just be seen in how many times he's won. It can also be seen in the amount of times he wasn't a part of the conversation come Sunday, a number that is incredibly small. Kim has finished inside the top 10 in 65% of his tournaments this season, and hasn't missed a single cut. The domination is even more amazing when you consider that Kim was struggling the two season previous. He entered this season ranked 352nd in the Official World Golf Rankings, and now he finds himself inside the top 60.
Kim will head to China next week to participate in the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament. Kim has played in majors before, but this will be his first really big tournament since the beginning of his rise back into prominence. If Kim can contend, it will prove that he is back to being a top professional on the world stage.
Finishing two shots back of Kim and tied for second were Katsumasa Miyamoto, Daisuke Kataoka, and Won Joon Lee. This is the second straight top 10 finish for the 43 year old Miyamoto, and his T2 is his best finish of the season. He is searching for his 11th Japan Tour victory, and his first of the season after winning twice in 2015. Kataoka already has one victory this season, and his T2 this week is his seventh top 10 of the season. He has, however, also missed five cuts. This is the third top 10 of the season for Lee, who has now finished inside the top 25 in his last three starts. After playing only nine times between 2012 and 2013, the Australian retired from the game, but returned to play on the Japan Tour. After struggling at the beginning of his season and missing seven cuts in 10 starts, Lee seems to have his game turned around, and will be fighting for his first victory very soon.
While Kim is in China, the rest of the Japan Tour pros will get a chance to win a tournament, as the Tour heads to Chiba for the Heiwa PGM Championship.