Kim bags PGA title anew

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — South Korea’s Kim Joo-hyung became the second-youngest player in PGA Tour history to capture multiple titles by winning the Shriners Children’s Open after a last-hole disaster Sunday by Patrick Cantlay.

Kim, nicknamed Tom after his boyhood love of Thomas the Tank Engine, fired a five-under par 66 to finish 72 bogey-free holes at TPC Summerlin on 24-under 260.

That gave him a three-stroke victory over Americans Cantlay and Matthew NeSmith with Chile’s Mito Pereira, American Tom Hoge and South Korean Kim Seong-hyeon sharing fourth on 264.

“I played really solid this week,” champion Kim said.

“We had a really good game plan going into the week and it paid off.”

The 20-year-old from Seoul, who won his first PGA title at Greensboro in August, was one month and eight days off the record youngest multiple winner in PGA history — American Ralph Guldahl in 1932.

But Kim did manage his second title a month faster than seven-time major winner Gene Sarazen and six months younger than 15-time major champion Tiger Woods.

“I’ve worked really hard and my team has worked really hard,” Kim said.

“I’m just really grateful and very fortunate to have an opportunity like this. I’m having fun playing on the PGA Tour. It’s awesome.”

Kim, who honed his skills in the Philippines, also became the first PGA winner without a bogey over four rounds since American J.T. Poston in 2019 at Greensboro.

World No. 4 Cantlay, the highest-ranked player in the field, and Kim were deadlocked for the lead on 24-under when Cantlay sent his tee shot at 18 into a bush in a dirt area left of the fairway.

“I made a bad swing and it went where it went,” Cantlay said.

“After it was kind of in the bush there, I figured the only chance I had to stay in the tournament was to try and get it back in the fairway. I couldn’t get it back in the fairway.”

Cantlay risked blasting out versus taking a penalty drop to try and keep alive his chance to win, but when the ball didn’t come out, Cantlay was on his way to a triple bogey and Kim was on his way to victory.

“I figured it was worth the risk because I didn’t think I’d have too much of a chance of getting it up and down from the brush there,” Cantlay said.

Cantlay made a putt from just inside 36 feet to salvage triple bogey and his third runner-up result at TPC Summerlin.

“I played well all week for the most part apart from one bad swing at the end,” Cantlay said.

“Would have liked to have closed the deal out but sometimes that’s golf.”

“Obviously the last hole makes the whole week kind of sour.”

Kim won for the second time in four starts and in his first event since playing for the Internationals in a Presidents Cup loss to the United States last month at Quail Hollow.

“I got very lucky on the 18th. I’m not going to lie,” Kim said. “Patrick played awesome and it was an honor to battle with him. To come out on top, I feel very fortunate.”

Cantlay had matched the course record on Saturday with a 60 to share the 54-hole lead with Kim.

Cantlay, last year’s FedEx Cup playoff winner, missed out on his third PGA title of the year after the BMW Championship in August and April’s pairs event in New Orleans with pal Xander Schauffele.

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