Kim becomes fifth Korean to take PGA title
On the last day of the Wyndham Championship on Sunday, the 21-year-old Korean shot 3-under for a total of 21-under 259 to finish five strokes clear of the runner-up, Luke Donald of England.
As the overnight leader, Kim started out the final day with a four-shot lead. Kim then cruised past his opponents, pocketing four birdies in the early half of the final round, including back-to-back birdies on the par-4 eighth hole and par-4 ninth hole.
After the break Kim slowed down, taking a bogey on the par-4 10th hole and adding two more on the 13th and 14th holes. He recovered from this setback with a birdie on the 15th and final hole, securing his win.
The tournament was meaningful for Kim for a number of different reasons. His record from the second round, where he shot 10-under 60, is his personal best, as well as the tournament record for a single round. His overall record now ties the 72-hole tournament record set by Carl Petterson of Sweden in 2008.
Kim is the fifth Korean ever to take a PGA title. Before Kim, Choi Kyung-joo, who is more popularly known as K.J. Choi, Yang Yong-eun, known as Y.E. Yang, Bae Sang-moon and Noh Seung-yul have won the U.S.-based tour title.
As a result of his win, Kim has also earned 500 FedEx Cup points and $1,008,000 in prize money.
Kim gained attention as a possible up-and-comer when he graduated from the PGA Tour’s qualifying school at the age of 17, the youngest ever to do so.
Kim quickly faded from public attention when he had to sit out until he turned 18 due to a PGA regulation that bars players under 18 from becoming PGA members. He then lost his membership after 2013 and played in the Web.com Tour, a developmental tour for the PGA, until he finally made it back to the PGA this season.
Now that he’s back in the top tour, he’s on an upward trajectory, finishing in the top 10 three times to date and in the top 25 12 times.
BY CHOI HYUNG-JO [firstname.lastname@example.org]