Michael Kim breaks away to score eight-shot win at John Deere Classic

Jul 15, 2018; Silvis, IL, USA; PGA golfer Michael Kim acknowledges the fans on the 18th green after winning the John Deere Classic golf tournament at TPC Deere Run. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports

Michael Kim breaks away to score eight-shot win at John Deere Classic

Digital Edition

Michael Kim breaks away to score eight-shot win at John Deere Classic

Michael Kim’s PGA Tour bio lists three bucket list items. Playing in the Masters, attending the NBA Finals or Super Bowl and playing a round with Tiger Woods.

He can scratch the former off the list after tearing through the John Deere Classic with an eight-shot victory that gets him into next year’s field at Augusta National. And he can afford some nice seats after cashing a $1 million-plus check worth more than half of his career earnings in 83 previous Tour starts.

Maybe Woods can help him finish off the trifecta this week at Carnoustie, where Kim will now be making his first major appearance as a professional at the British Open.

The 25-year-old from South Korea shot 5-under 67 in the final round and played the last 29 holes of the week bogey-free, with Round 3 completed early Sunday morning due to weather delays. A lengthy two-putt par at the final hole to keep a clean card was even sweeter once he realized his family had traveled to Silvis, Ill. to witness his first professional victory in person.

“I didn’t even notice they were here until I saw it on the camera,” Kim said. “I teared up a little bit on the green and just tried to two-putt the last hole and not make a bogey. I’m just really thankful and proud.”

Kim shot 27-under 257 at TPC Deere Run, the lowest 72-hole score relative to par since Justin Thomas won the 2017 Sony Open at 27 under. Three consecutive missed cuts proceeded the out-of-nowhere victory for Kim, who had just one prior top-10 finish.

The John Deere Classic lived up to its reputation as the premier birdie fest in golf, with Francesco Molinari, Joel Dahmen, Bronson Burgoon and Sam Ryder finishing T-2 at 19 under.

Kim probably won’t jump into any conversations of British Open contenders, but Molinari is right in the thick of things thanks to an impressive two-month heater. He got his first Tour win last month at the Quicken Loans National, won the BMW PGA Championship in May and finished runner-up at last month’s Italian Open.

Molinari has also shown plenty of promise in recent major outings with three top-25 finishes in a row, including a T-2 at last year’s PGA Championship. He’s probably the hottest player in the world entering Carnoustie and one to consider for those wandering into legal sports books across Europe this week. Molinari’s odds will reflect his play of late, but Harold Varner III should have plenty of value as a sleeper pick.

Varner shot 3-under 68 in the final round to finish solo sixth at 18 under. He’s also coming off a T-5 at the Greenbrier, his best career finish, and continues to show promise in his third season.

Most of the heavy hitters were already across the pond by the weekend, either playing at the Scottish Open or getting tuned up with a few practice rounds at Carnoustie.

The final wave will arrive Monday and includes one unexpected passenger, as Kim booked his ticket with an unmatched performance over a rainy, Midwestern summer weekend at TPC Deere Run. Gwk

Latest

More Digital Edition
Home