Kim on the right track
Having finished third in the Scottish Open and having made the cut in the Open Championship and the 3M Open before finishing seventh in the Rocket Mortgage Classic in his penultimate start, 20-year-old Korean, Joohyung "Tom" Kim, was all the rage before the off at the Wyndham Championship.
Despite his relative inexperience, he began the week as a well-backed 36.035/1 chance but his followers must have thought they'd done their dough when he opened the tournament with a quadruple bogey eight on the par four first.
He was matched for pennies at a high of 200.0199/1 after the opening hole blooper but he soon put the early mishap behind him and after 36 holes he was tied for the lead with Brandon Wu and Ryan Moore and trading at 6.411/2.
Stormy weather disrupted play on Saturday and Kim, who's nicknamed "Tom" because of his fascination as a kid with Thomas the Tank Engine, failed to get going on Sunday morning when they returned to finish up round three - playing the final seven holes of the round in level-par.
The pre-event 18.5 favourite, Sungjae Im, began round four leading by a stroke over the first-round leader, John Huh, with Kim and Wu tied for third and two off the pace on -11.
My 200.0199/1 Find Me a 100 Winner fancy, Anirban Lahiri, who was matched at a low of 8.07/1 on Saturday, sat tied for seventh and four off the lead through 54 holes but that was as good as it got for the Indian and he eventually finished tied for eighth.
Im started round four steadily with a run of pars, but he chipped in for eagle at the par five fifth hole and he still looked like the man to beat. The 24-year-old Korean was matched at a low of 1.9110/11 but he just couldn't live with his fellow countryman, who shot an incredible 27 on the front nine to pull clear of the field.
A sub-60 round had looked on the cards, but after such a scintillating start, a cooling off for Kim was perhaps inevitable and after bogeying the 10th he pared his next four holes before back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16 put the event to bed.
Kim parred the last two holes to win by five and he's the first player to have been born this century to win on the PGA Tour but spare a thought for Matt Wallace.
Although previous results had seen Kim earn his PGA Tour card for next season, as a non-member with only 417 points on Thursday morning, the only way he could force his way into the FedEx Cup Playoffs was to win the Wyndham to gain automatic membership and his victory bumped out Wallace who had finished 125th on the standings.
Shinkwin holds on for win
Over on the DP World Tour, pre-event 25.024/1 chance, Callum Shinkwin, began the final round of the Cazoo Open with a one-stroke lead over Frenchman, Julien Guerrier, and despite playing the first three holes in one-over-par, defeat never looked likely.
Guerrier, who was generally a 95.094/1 chance before the off, had been disappointing in-contention on numerous occasions, and he was again flaky here, playing the first four holes of round four in three-over par.
Shinkwin looked the likely winner from a long way out and he went on to win by four. Connor Syme finished alone in second with Guerrier finishing in a tie for third with four others - seven shots behind Shinkwin!
Both the men's events had looked extremely tight at the halfway stage but neither provided too much drama on Sunday. That wasn't the case at the Women's Open at Muirfield...
I'm not an avid follower of the women's game but it was impossible not to get embroiled in the final round yesterday afternoon.
Pre-event 400.0399/1 chance, Ashleigh Buhai, who was in search of her first success on the LPGA Tour after 220 previous starts, began the final round with a five-stroke lead and the South African was matched at a low of 1.11/10 as nothing but a facile victory looked likely but after a sluggish start, the event was blown wide open when she made a triple bogey seven at the par four 15th.
Korea's In Gee Chun was matched at a low of just 1.351/3 as it looked like the South African had blown her chance but to her credit, she parred the last three holes after the triple at 15 before finally winning the championship with a par four at the fourth extra hole when a fifth looked unlikely due to the fading light thanks to this brilliant bunker shot.
Given length off the tee is irrelevant at Sedgefield and that it's a venue at which the older pros can shine, a 20-year-old winning might not have been in the script but he's the second Korean to win by five strokes in seven years (Si Woo Kim 2016) and he's the third Korean to win in 17 years.
K.J Choi won the 2005 edition, and he seems to have inspired the Korean contingent. In addition to the two Kims winning, Im traded at odds-on and Korean-born American, Kevin Na, finished runner-up 12 months ago.
The Koreans performing well here may be purely coincidental, but a couple of other trends were cemented.
Lahiri was a selection on the back of his second placed finish at the Players Championship so the link between Sawgrass and Sedgefield looks as strong as ever and backing players bobbing around that 125 position on the FedEx Cup standings reaped rewards as despite missing his last three cuts, massive outsider, Max McGreevy, finished tied for fifth to move from 126th to 104th in the standings.
The FedEx Cup playoff series kicks off on Thursday with the FedEx St Jude Championship at TPC Southwind and the DP World Tour returns to Galgorm Castle in Northern Ireland for the second edition of the ISPS HANDA World Invitational. I'll be back tomorrow with the previews.
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