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By : BGA Proshop
Si Woo Kim wins The American Express by one shot over Patrick Cantlay and Australian Cameron Davies.
With 4 rounds in the 60’s Kim had to hold off a charging Cantlay who shot a final round of 61 to narrowly get beaten by Kim.
Kim who is only 25 years old finished with a final round 64 and it was the second best round of the day behind Cantlay and it was his third bogey-free round of the week.
“I had many chances since PLAYERS. I had many chances to win, but I couldn't make it, but finally I made it,” Kim said. “So I tried to keep composure and I made it. I'm so happy with that.”
Having earned his PGA Tour card at the age of 17, Kim had to wait nearly four years since his last victory. That pressure made sleeping on the 54-hole co-lead Saturday night a difficult proposition.
“So every year I had a chance to win, but I couldn't make it, so I had a lot of thoughts in my mind last night,” Kim said. “I tried to sleep but I couldn't sleep, so I even took melatonin last night, but still I didn't sleep very well.”
With Cantley on the charge early, who went out in 30, Kim responded with 4 birdies of his own on the front nine and went out in a 32. Davis wasn’t far behind matching Cantley with a 30 on the front nine as well.
Cantlay continued his hot streak on the back nine and came home with a 31 taking the club house lead waiting for Kim to finish. He was one up and Kim had 3 holes to play, kept warm on the driving range for a potential playoff.
Kim on the other hand had other plans. On the par 5 16th, after smoking his drive down the middle he took out a hybrid and hit the green in 2 setting up an easy birdie. On the next hole which was a par 3, he avoided water on the right and hit it left of the green. With a 19 foot putt for birdie, Kim rolled it in and took a one shot lead heading into the last.
“I wanted, at least I want to go to make the playoff, so I tried to focus on speed and then actually Max Homa's putt helped me a lot, so I knew how it goes,” Kim said. “So I just focused on speed and I hit it very confidently.”
On the last hole Kim hit the green in regulation and had a simple tap in for par to claim victory.
"I had to know what's going on, so I knew how to play my game in the final round," Kim said. "I knew Cantlay played really well. I tried to keep patient and believe in myself. I got the chance on 16 and 17, and that's when I could make it. I feel good about myself."
"I just tried to focus on my game," Kim said. "I didn't even know I had a bogey-free round today."
"I thought I would have a chance at a playoff," Cantlay said after falling just short of his fourth career victory despite his best career round as a pro. "I played about as good as I can possibly play."
"I knew they still had a bunch of holes left, but really I put myself so behind the 8-ball (on Thursday and Friday)," Cantlay added. "I played unbelievable this weekend. I did everything I could. Just going to be a shot short."