John Deere Classic

First-time champ Kim relishes victory with family, without sleep

SILVIS, Ill. - After finishing with a score of 27-under par, Michael Kim is the 2018 John Deere Classic champion. 

"I probably ran through a million different scenarios of how this day was going to pan out," Kim said after his victory.

His first PGA Tour win and a John Deere Classic record had to be the best of those scenarios for Kim.

"If I could explain it, I would love to because that would mean I know what I was doing," said the 25-year-old champion. "It's just a culmination of hard work and what I've been working on...my entire life I guess to be in this moment."

Kim shot a final-round 66 to coast to victory by eight strokes and break Steve Stricker's scoring record, but his weekend at TPC Deere Run might actually have been less stressful than a couple sleepless nights with the tournament lead. 

"Friday night probably got three hours of sleep; Saturday night probably got four hours of sleep," Kim said. "I was just trying to get my heartbeat to slow down. Kind of just looking up on the Internet how to slow your heart rate down. You know, all it tells you is to take deep breaths. Well, I've been taking deep breaths for like 30 minutes and it ain't slowing down." 

The record-setting win was made even more special as Kim's mom, dad and brother surprised the 25-year-old by flying in early Sunday morning from San Diego.

"One of the million scenarios I had I thought they might come," Kim admitted. "But I didn't see them until 18 green. Kind of saw them on the big board and I was just super surprised obviously. Made that two-putt on 18 that much harder."

Maybe the hardest, but most fulfilling two strokes of a week that Michael Kim will never forget.

"You know, you say you dream about playing on the PGA Tour, winning on the PGA Tour, but as a kid you don't really know how hard that is. To be sitting here with the trophy...I think I made the right career choice," Kim said. 


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