One of the game’s brightest rising stars, the 21-year-old South Korean phenom came out on top in a nail-biting final round duel with Adam Hadwin to retain the Shriners Children’s Open at TPC Summerlin on Sunday, edging the Canadian by a single stroke.
Having shot a blistering nine-under 62 on Saturday, a final round 66 was just enough to clinch Kim the $1.512 million winner’s prize.
Almost exactly a year on from easing to a three-shot victory at the same event, it makes Kim the first golfer to defend the Shriners Children’s Open since Jim Furyk in 1999, and the youngest to win three PGA Tour titles since Tiger Woods.
Eschewing the delights of Vegas strip, instead Kim finished off a white chocolate Ferrero Rocher brought over from Europe, ordering room service and setting an alarm for 3 a.m. to catch a 6:30 a.m. flight home.
“I’m not a really big fancy loud type of guy, so when I come to Vegas, I don’t really like going to the strip,” Kim told reporters.
“I stay five minutes from the course where it’s really quiet and it’s really nice. Back-to-back is great, so Summerlin and I are bonded very well.
“Hopefully it’s nice to me again next year, as well.”