Michael Kim and Bronson Burgoon were both looking for their first win on the PGA TOUR at the John Deere Classic, the same place where the likes of Jordan Spieth, Brian Harmon and Bryson DeChambeau all got their first wins.
Kim started the final round with a five stroke lead over Burgoon. That lead would only increase. Kim shot a five under 66 on Sunday to claim a demanding eight shot victory for his first win on the PGA TOUR.
Michael Kim celebrates with the trophy after winning the John Deere Classic during the final round at TPC Deere Run on July 15, 2018 in Silvis, Illinois. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images
Born in South Korea, Kim is now a resident of Houston, Texas. He is the 473rd player in the world with his best finish coming at the 2016 Safeway Open when he placed T3. He started the week at 161st in the FedEx Cup standings, he is now 56th.
Through the first three rounds, Kim was leading the field in driving accuracy, greens in regulation, and proximity to the hole. He was also second in strokes gained putting. Before this week he was 195th in driving accuracy, 192nd in greens in regulation, T169th in proximity to the hole and T99 in strokes gained putting.
This week he was 49th in strokes gained off the tee, 16th tee to green, T5 in driving accuracy, third in greens in regulation and first in putting. He played the par fours at 17 under par, which led the field.
Zach Johnson won the John Deere Classic in 2012 and is currently an ambassador for John Deere. He shot a 7 under 64 in the final round. “I got off to a good start. I was trying to get some momentum,” said Johnson. “I had acouple opportunities that I let slide by, but I also had acouple good saves.”
When asked about Kim, Johnson said, “I’m excited for him. I’ve played some practice rounds with him and I knew his game was close, it was just a matter of being patient. When you’re in control like that and still being aggressive like he is, it’s fun to watch.”
With his family watching, Kim made his par putt on 18 to remain bogey free on his round and to become the 10th player to win for the first time on tour this year. “I’m just super thankful. I’m thankful to my parents, to my team, my coaches, my friends, my family. It’s been a tough first half of the year but to be able to finish up like this, it means a lot,” said Kim.
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