July 21, 2024

20-year-old Kim Wins Second PGA Tour Title in Las Vegas

 20-year-old Kim Wins Second PGA Tour Title in Las Vegas

Spectators lounge at the 2019 Shriners Children’s Open. Photo by The Golf Spectator

Joo-hyung “Tom” Kim and Patrick Cantlay stood on the 18th tee at TPC Summerlin Sunday tied for the lead at the Shriners Children’s Open. When they walked off the 18th green, Kim had become a two-time PGA Tour winner by what may look in future record books like a comfortable three-stroke margin.

Cantlay hit his tee shot on the par-4 closing hole into the native area down the left side of the fairway, coming to rest in a near-impossible lie among the desert flora. Rather than take an unplayable, which would have left him with a still-difficult lie from the native area hitting three, Cantlay attempted to play his ball, but only moved it deeper into the brush. When he finally holed out minutes later, he had made a triple-bogey 7, and finished in a tie for second place at -21.

Embed from Getty Images

The budding superstar Kim finished as he played all week, seemingly effortlessly. He casually hit the fairway, then the green in regulation, and then made a ho-hum two-putt from 53 feet away to cap his 66 and finish the week at -24. It was the second PGA Tour win in just his last four events for the 20-year-old South Korean and recent Presidents Cup participant. In putting the Shriners next to his Wyndham trophy, he becomes the first player under 21 to win twice on the PGA Tour since Tiger Woods in 1996, and moves to #15 in the OWGR rankings at just 20 years, three months, and 18 days of age.

Cantlay, who was looking for his second win at this event, needed to drain a 36-foot putt at the last to avoid the quadruple-bogey eight and falling into third. The bomb ensured he got at least a share of second alongside Matthew NeSmith who carded a 66 of his own to get to 21-under. Along with his 2017 win, Cantlay now has three runner-up finishes among his five starts at TPC Summerlin.

Kim’s countryman and Presidents Cup teammate, defending champion Sungjae Im fired a 4-under par 67 on Sunday to finish at 19-under. The round was his 15th consecutive under par at the Shriners.

Tom Hoge, another South Korean S.H. Kim, and 36-hole leader Mito Pereira tied for fourth at 20-under. Pereira’s 67/67 weekend would’ve been good enough to win most events, but not this week at a calm TPC Summerlin where the scores were low.

FedEx Cup race leader Max Homa was among those players tied for 20th at -14.

Tom Kim’s bogey-free week made him the first bogey-free 72-hole champion on the PGA Tour since J.T. Poston accomplished the feat in 2019 at the Wyndham.

South Korean nationals have now won 23 times on the PGA Tour.

Be sure to check back with The Golf Spectator for more PGA Tour news.