Gong Tae-hyun won a silver medal in the men’s golf team event at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon.
He turned professional on the Korean Professional Golf Association (KPGA) in 2015, but is rarely seen on the KPGA Korean Tour.
He proudly calls himself a “golf content creator” or “golf entertainer” rather than a tour professional.
“I decided that I can do better than a tour player,” he says, “I have a lot of minor injuries, so a tour player is not for me.”
Gong is as popular as any top tour player.
His golf content YouTube channel has more than 130,000 subscribers.
He has applied for a “silver button,” which can be worn by those who reach 100,000 subscribers.
Gong shot a 6-under-par 66 in the first round of the KPGA Korean Tour’s Golf Zone-Dorei Open at Seonsan Country Club (Par 72) in Gumi-si, Gyeongbuk, on Feb. 2.
He made seven birdies and one bogey.
Among the players who teed off in the morning, he was tied for second place behind Chung Jung-mil, who shot an 8-under 64.
Unseeded Gong Tae-hyun entered the tournament as a featured player for title sponsor Golf Zone.
He has been a KPGA professional for eight years, but this will be his 28th Korean Tour event, making his tour appearances rare.
This year, it was the second after the LX Championship, which ended on September 3. He shot 7-over par on the first day and lost four more strokes in the second round to miss the cut.
Gong said, “I practiced a lot before this tournament. I played many practice rounds at the Champion Tee on a difficult course, and until today, I was under par for 10 consecutive rounds,” said Gong.
His putts were particularly good today. He said he’s been using a broomstick putter since the spring that a pro he knows has been using, and he’s liked it so much that he’s been making a lot more putts lately.
However, Gong attributed his improvement from the LX Championship two months ago to his mindset rather than his game.
“Honestly, two months ago, I was greedy (for a result),” said Gong, “but this time I aimed to make the cut.”
“I played well today, but it’s hard to be optimistic,” he said, adding, “I actually have a private lesson scheduled for this coming Sunday. However, if I make the cut, I’ve asked those who want to take lessons to come to the tournament and watch.” He laughed.
“I’m not a tour player, but whenever I get the chance to play in a tour event, I’ll do it,” Gong said, “because there are fans who want to see me play in a tournament as a golf entertainer.”
He was surrounded by dozens of fans after the match, taking pictures and signing autographs. 파워볼사이트