John Deere Classic: Michael Kim dominates to earn Open spot

Michael Kim was out on his own at the top of the John Deere Classic leaderboard
Michael Kim was out on his own at the top of the John Deere Classic leaderboard

Michael Kim booked the last remaining Open ticket when he romped to victory in the John Deere Classic, his first on the PGA Tour.

Leaderboard

-27 Michael Kim

-19 Francesco Molinari, Joel Dahmen, Sam Ryder, Bronson Burgoon

-18 Harold Varner III

Day four report

Michael Kim booked the last remaining Open ticket when he romped to victory in the John Deere Classic, his first on the PGA Tour.

The 25-year-old took control of the event at halfway with a three-shot lead, extended it to five ahead of the final round and was soon further clear on Sunday, eventually winning by eight.

Kim's performance meant the rest were playing for second from a very early stage and in the end four players were tied - Francesco Molinari, Bronson Burgoon, Joel Dahmen and Sam Ryder.

For Molinari, it was another big cheque as he continues in the form of his life but even the Italian had no answer to Kim, who fulfilled the promise he had first hinted at when featuring as an amateur in the 2013 US Open.

The Korean-born American began Sunday with a commanding advantage and soon made it an unassailable one, making birdies at the first, second and third holes to dispel any fears over how he'd respond to teeing off with the lead for the first time.

Further birdies at the eighth and 16th holes on a clean scorecard sealed a one-sided victory and with it the Open Championship place reserved for the highest-finishing non-qualifier in Illinois.

Kim will fly to Scotland with the likes of Molinari for the season's third major, which begins on Thursday.

Day three report

Michael Kim has moved five shots clear at the top of the leaderboard ahead of the final day's play in the John Deere Classic.

Kim, pursuing the first win of his PGA career, started his day on the 18th after the weather prevented him from finishing on Friday.

The bogey on the par-four gave him a round of 64, and he followed that up with the same score in the third round.

Kim, now sitting at 22 under, finished his Saturday round with four consecutive birdies to go five clear.

Bronson Burgoon is second on 17 under, while Australian Matt Jones rose to third with a round of 66 to go 16 under.

Andres Romero rose 11 places to be tied for fifth after dropping a shot on the first but carding an eagle on the second in a round of 64, while Ireland Seamus Power is one of five tied for 12th on 12 under.

Day two report

Michael Kim was four shots clear at the top of the leaderboard with a hole to play when weather halted the second round of the John Deere Classic.

Pursuing the first win of his PGA career on 16 under after 35 holes, the American, 25, was on course to seal a considerable advantage after taking the top spot from countryman Steve Wheatcroft.

Keeping a clean card on Friday, Kim notched up eight birdies over the 17 holes and will finish off his second round on the par-four 18th on Saturday morning.

Round two in Illinois proved to be a more challenging affair for day one leader Wheatcroft, who slipped into second with a three-under round of 68.

He was tied on 12 under with Canada's David Hearn, who carded 64, and Johnson Wagner of the US who went round in 66.

Italy's Francesco Molinari, who won the Quicken Loans National a fortnight ago, shot a 66 to sit tied for fifth with America Bronson Burgoon and Matt Jones of Australia on 10 under overall.

An eagle on the second helped Jones on his way to an eight-under round of 63 - the joint-lowest of the day with John Huh of the US, who finished in 12th on nine under overall.

Ireland's Seamus Power replicated his 68 in the first round to sit tied 24th on six under, while Englishman Brian Davis was projected to just miss the cut after a round of 71 left him tied for 82nd on two under.

Day one report

Steve Wheatcroft holds a one-shot lead going into the second day of the John Deere Classic after going round in nine-under on Thursday.

Wheatcroft's blemish-free round of 62 saw him ride home on a streak of six birdies, sealing a career-low.

The American is just ahead of countryman Michael Kim, while a four-strong chasing pack of Johnson Wagner, Nick Taylor, Andres Romero and Joel Dahmen are tied for third after finishing two shots off the pace.

Ireland's Seamus Power finished six shots off the lead in Illinois to tie in 37th, while Englishman Brian Davis carded 69 to tie 56th.

Francesco Molinari, who won the Quicken Loans National a fortnight ago was tied seventh after going round in 65.

Defending champion Bryson DeChambeau was forced to withdraw towards the end of his first round with a shoulder injury that could put his participation at next week's Open in doubt.

DeChambeau hurt his shoulder hitting out of the rough on the second hole, but managed to make it to the 16th before he decided to pull out. He says he'll still travel to Carnoustie to try and take his place in the field for the third major of the year.

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