John Deere Classic 2018: Michael Kim Leads After Rain-Shortened Friday

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 14, 2018

SILVIS, IL - JULY 13:  Michael Kim hits his tee shot on the 11th hole during the second round of the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run on July 13, 2018 in Silvis, Illinois.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

After opening the 2018 John Deere Classic with a 63 on Thursday, Michael Kim jumped into sole possession of first place in the second round before play was suspended due to inclement weather. 

Kim is at 16-under par with one hole left to play in the second round, four shots ahead of David Hearn, Steve Wheatcroft and Johnson Wagner. There are currently 11 players who got to at least 10-under par on Friday.

Here is the top of the leaderboard after nearly two full rounds at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois:

1. Michael Kim (-16)

T2. David Hearn (-12)

T2. Steve Wheatcroft (-12)

T2. Johnson Wagner (-12)

T5. Francesco Molinari (-11)

T5. Matt Jones (-11)

T5. Bronson Burgoon (-11)

T8. Robert Garrigus (-10)

T8. Sam Ryder (-10)

T8. Parker McLachlin (-10)

T8. Harold Varner III (-10)

Full leaderboard available via PGATour.com

   

Since turning pro in 2013, Kim has yet to win any PGA Tour or international events. The 24-year-old hasn't finished higher than tied for 15th in a tournament and he's missed the cut 14 times in 22 events this season. 

Kim's masterpiece of a round on Friday began with a sterling effort on the front nine that included five birdies. He didn't let up after making the turn thanks to shots like this flop on No. 12 that allowed him to save par:

Wheatcroft, who ended the first round in the lead after shooting a 62, had a rough go over his final nine holes on Friday. He started on the back nine and dropped his score to 14-under par thanks to five birdies. 

Following a par on his 10th hole, Wheatcroft began to unravel with back-to-back bogeys that cost him two shots. He wound up settling for a two-over par 37 on the back nine, leaving him part of that three-way tie for second place. 

"It's been a brutal year, to be honest with you," Wheatcroft told reporters after the first round. "It's probably the worst year I've had so far, but I don't feel like I'm playing the worst golf of my career. I actually feel like I am playing good golf. I'm just not getting the results."

Friday certainly wasn't a bad round for the 40-year-old Indiana native, but he did miss an opportunity to at least close the gap on Kim heading into the third round. 

Among players in the top 10, Matt Jones and Bronson Burgoon were big winners on Friday. Jones, Bronson and Burgoon were on pace to post identical scores of eight-under par in the second round before play was suspended. 

Jones is in search of his second career PGA Tour win (2014 Shell Houston Open). Burgoon, who has been on the PGA Tour for eight years, has yet to win a sanctioned tournament. He did post his best finish of the season two weeks ago when he came in sixth at the Quicken Loans National. 

There is certainly no shortage of contenders as the leaderboard shows. Kim's lack of track record does leave open the possibility for big changes on moving day, but his dominance in the second round is evidence that this could be a weekend he will remember for a long time. 

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