Pro Golf Weekly

Michael Kim Takes Lead Into Weekend at John Deere Classic

Michael Kim was 16-under par through 35 holes, and holding a four-shot lead at the John Deere Classic, when play was suspended due to weather forecasts.

Michael Kim John Deere Classic
Michael Kim hits a shot during the second round of the 2018 John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Silva, Illinois. Credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The 24-year old Californian was flawless on Friday en route to a two-day total of 16-under par. His second day at the John Deere included nine pars and eight birdies, highlighted by a stretch over the mid-10 (Nos. 5-14) which included seven birdies and three pars (birdie-birdie-par-birdie-birdie-par-birdie-par-birdie-birdie).

“I think that front nine was kind of almost in survival mode just trying to get through the day,” said Kim, who has MISSED 14 of 21 cuts this season, an incredible 66%.

“On the back nine the cloud coverage and the delay kind of cooled everything off. It was much better after the nine.

“But obviously really happy with the round, or still continuing the round, so — I don’t remember where I got my first birdie. Let me think. Oh, 2nd hole. So got off to a good start.

You know, was trying to not focus too much on the score. Just take it one shot at time, and I think I did a good job of that.”

Overnight leader Steve Wheatcroft shot a 68 and was four off the pace at 12-under par. The 40-year old journeyman was T2 alongside Johnson Wagner (66) and David Hearn (64).

Francesco Molinari followed a 65 with a 66 and was just five back at 11-under par. The 35-year old Italian was T5 with Matt Jones who carded a low-round 63.


JOHN DEERE CLASSIC: TOP 10

POS-PLAYER-SCORE (TODAY)
1. Michael Kim -16 (-8)*
2. Steve Wheatcroft -12 (-3)
2. Johnson Wagner -12 (-5)
2. David Hearn -12 (-7)
5. Francesco Molinari -11 (-5)
5. Matt Jones -11 (-8)
7. Robert Garrigus -10 (-7)
7. Sam Ryder -10 (-5)
7. Parker McLachlin -10 (-5)
7. Harold Varner, III -10 (-6)
7. Bronson Burgoon -10 (-8)

JOHN DEERE CLASSIC: NOTABLES

POS-PLAYER-SCORE (TODAY)
24. Steve Stricker -6 (-5)
24. Chesson Hadley -6 (-4)
47. Austin Cook -4 (-2)
47. Joaquin Niemann -4 (-2)
66. Sam Saunders -3 (-4)
66. Bill Haas -3 (-1)
66. Andrew Landry -3 (-3)
66. Bill Haas -3 (-1)
66. Ryan Moore -3 (-2)
66. Zach Johnson -3 (-1)
66. Patton Kizzire -3 (-2)

JOHN DEERE CLASSIC: MISSED-CUT

POS-PLAYER-SCORE (TODAY)
82. Aaron Wise -2 (-4)
82. Brian Gay -2 (-1)
119. Si Woo Kim +1 (-1)
125. Kyle Stanley +3 (E)
137. Davis Love III +5 (+3)
WD Bryson DeChambeau +3


HOW MICHAEL KIM SCORED

Driving: 298.8 yards
Fairways: 81.5%
Greens: 88.6%
Par-3 Scoring: -1 (1 Birdies, 7 Pars)
Par-4 Scoring: -12 (13 Birdies, 6 Pars, 1 Bogey)
Par-5 Scoring: -3 (3 Birdies, 3 Pars)
Total Scoring: -16 (17 Birdies, 16 Pars, 1 Bogey)


EXIT QUESTION FOR MICHAEL KIM

Q: Has the TOUR been about what you expected or has this come a little slower than you expected or you have no expectations?

MICHAEL KIM: You know, you have expectations obviously playing with your heros, my heros growing up. To be alongside them is really cool. It’s a lot more golf than I expected. Last couple years I think I’ve played about 30 tournaments, so that’s been kind of unexpected.

Jeff Smith

Jeff is a writer and content producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is working on a book, documenting the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the major golf tours.

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