South Korea’s Tom Kim has become the first player to win twice on the PGA Tour before the age of 21 since Tiger Woods in 1996.
A star of the recent Presidents Cup, 20-year-old Kim shot a closing five-under 66, out-duelling world No 4 Patrick Cantlay to win the Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas by three shots.
Without a single bogey all tournament, Kim finished at 24-under on the TPC Summerlin course to win for the second time in his last four tour starts, having also triumphed at the Wyndham Championship in August to earn a full-time tour card.
Cantlay (69) and Kim went to the 18th hole tied for the lead but the American hit a terrible tee shot and needed to take an unplayable lie after his second from a bush went nowhere.
He ended up holing a long putt for triple bogey to tie for second with Matthew NeSmith (66).
“I got very lucky on the 18th, I’m not going to lie,” Kim told the Golf Channel. “Patrick played awesome and it was an honour to battle with him, and to come out on top, I feel very fortunate.
“I think I’ve got to give big credit to Joe, my caddie,” Kim said of Joe Skovron, who formerly caddied for Rickie Fowler. “He really kept me in it and we had a really good game plan coming into the week, and it paid off. I’m having fun playing on the PGA Tour. It’s awesome.”
Cantlay said his defeat at the 18th wasn’t a matter of luck.
“I made a bad [driver] 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 to get it back in the fairway. Obviously I couldn’t get it back in the fairway.”
Australia’s former world No 1 Jason Day birdied eight of his last 10 holes to close with a 63 and tie for eighth at 18 under. Compatriot Lucas Herbert tied 20th after a 68 while Cam Davis shot 71 to share 37th.