John Deere Classic 2018: Michael Kim Wins 1st-Ever PGA Event, Sets Record

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2018

SILVIS, IL - JULY 15:  Michael Kim reacts hits a shot on the first hole during the final round of the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run on July 15, 2018 in Silvis, Illinois.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The first career PGA Tour win for Michael Kim came in dominant fashion as the American took home the 2018 John Deere Classic by eight strokes.

Kim shot a 66 Sunday at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois, putting him at 27 strokes under par for the week to set a new tournament record. Francesco Molinari, Joel Dahmen, Sam Ryder and Bronson Burgoon all tied for second place at 19-under.


Just an amazing run from @Mike_kim714. He wins the @JDCLASSIC and sets the 72-hole record! https://t.co/lrxIGlgqzZ

Although the tournament didn't feature too many big names, the win still counts the same in the FedEx standings, and Kim still brings home the biggest share of the $5.8 million purse.


Final Leaderboard

1. Michael Kim (-27)

T2. Francesco Molinari (-19)

T2. Joel Dahmen (-19)

T2. Sam Ryder (-19)

T2. Bronson Burgoon (-19)

6. Harold Varner III (-18)

T7. Kevin Streelman (-16)

T7. John Huh (-16)

T7. Chad Campbell (-16)

T7. Keith Mitchell (-16)

T7. Andres Romero (-16)

Full results available at PGATour.com.


Kim entered the final round with a five-stroke lead after tearing up the course with rounds of 63, 64 and 64.

He ended Saturday's round with four straight birdies and then kept it going with three more in Round 4, building an eight-stroke lead:


What a start. 🔥 @Mike_kim714 opens the final round with a birdie. Dating back to yesterday, he has birdied his last 5 holes. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/n0ArG3rmjW


7 straight birdies. 7-shot lead. This is ridiculous. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/H8yDEVH6gK

Although he "slowed down" with a run of pars, his birdie on No. 16 showed why he was the clear best in the field this week:


Embracing the moment. How about this reaction?! @Mike_Kim714 leads by 8 and is loving every minute of it. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/lH16oKcVXt

The 25-year-old was especially impressive on the greens, gaining 2.974 strokes in putting in the final round. The consistency was also noteworthy, avoiding bogeys in Round 4 after totaling just three in the first three days of the tournament.

His effort helped him match Dustin Johnson and Molinari for the biggest margins of victory so far in 2018, per Golf on CBS.

The only interesting race Sunday was for second place, but no one was able to stand above the rest.

Molinari had the best day of the group, shooting a 64 to jump from 12th to second in the standings. Meanwhile, Dahmen, Ryder and Burgoon each earned their top-three finish with consistent showings throughout the four rounds.

Steve Stricker, who had the previous record at this event in 2010, finished tied for 43rd at 10-under.

While there were low scores throughout, no one was able to come close to Kim. This was quite a surprise considering he hadn't even earned a top-10 finish at a PGA event since October 2016, but he was at his best over the past four days.

Golf fans will now turn their attention overseas for the 147th Open Championship, beginning Thursday at Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus, Scotland.