American Express golf tournament: Korea’s Si Woo Kim claimed a dramatic one-shot victory over a fast-charging Patrick Cantlay at The American Express golf tournament on Sunday, earning his third PGA TOUR title to end a four-year winless run.
The 25-year-old closed with a superb 8-under 64 at PGA West Stadium Course which included pivotal birdies on Hole Nos. 16 and 17 from four feet and 19 feet respectively to overhaul Cantlay, who had set the clubhouse mark at 21-under following a blistering course record 61. Australian Cameron Davis finished third for his career-best result on TOUR after a closing 64 while American Tony Finau, one of the overnight leaders with Kim and Max Homa, settled for fourth place following a 68.
Kim maintained his cool despite a jam-packed leaderboard and kept the bogeys off his card for a third time this week. He made birdies on Hole Nos. 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11 to stay in the title chase before producing a glorious finish to pip World No. 10 Cantlay.
Coincidently, Kim’s last victory at the 2017 PLAYERS Championship, the TOUR’s flagship tournament, was at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, which designer Pete Dye also designed the Stadium Course at PGA West here in La Quinta, California.
“I had many chances since PLAYERS but I couldn’t make it. Finally, I made it. I tried to keep my composure and I made it. I’m so happy,” Kim, who totaled 23-under 265 and moved up to ninth place on the FedExCup points list with his victory, said in a statement.
“When I had the chance to win (previously), I didn’t play very well. I had a lot of ups and downs as I tried to play aggressively and that actually made me lose. My coach (Claude Harmon) talked to me about it a lot and even this week, he told me there will be chances anytime and to keep waiting and be patient, keep composure, and believe in yourself. That’s what I tried to do.”
Sunday’s victory made Kim the Korean with the second-most wins after trailblazer K.J. Choi, who holds eight PGA TOUR victories. “It feels great to become the second (highest) player. I cannot say I will achieve what K.J. Choi did because he did a great job. My goal this year is to have a win and I got it already and I just want to have one more win and then I try to get into the TOUR Championship,” said Kim.