Fire four rounds in the 60s. Win first career PGA TOUR title. Break tournament scoring record. Become the first player to win on tour with the new Titleist TS2 driver. Punch your ticket to the Open Championship at Carnoustie. And celebrate your 25th birthday.
It’s safe to say that Michael Kim had one amazing and memorable week at TPC Deere Run.
Kim authored a dominant performance on the golf course posting a 27-under-par 257 total (63-64-64-66) that was 8 shots clear of the nearest competitor – breaking the record for largest margin of victory at the John Deere Classic.
Trusting Titleist equipment throughout his bag, Kim ranked first in birdies (30), Putts Per Greens in Regulation (1.533) and Strokes Gained Putting (13.514). He also ranked second in Driving Accuracy at 82.14% (46/56); and 3rd in Greens in Regulation at 83.33% (60/72).
Let’s take a closer look at his winning setup:
Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: New TS2/10.5º
Fairway: 917F2 16.5º
Hybrid: 816 H1 21º
Irons: 716 T-MB (4), 718 AP2 (5 – PW)
Wedges: Vokey Design SM7 52.12 F grind, 56.14 F grind, and 60.04 L grind
Putter: Scotty Cameron GSS 350
As the momentum continues to build for the new Titleist TS metals on tour - the seeding process for the new Titleist TS2 and TS3 drivers began at the U.S. Open and has followed at each PGA TOUR event since - Kim became the first player to post a victory with the new Titleist TS2 driver. Kim transitioned into the TS2 driver at the Quicken Loans National, making John Deere the third event in which he has played the new driver (stay up to speed with TS news here).
According to Titleist Tour Representative J.J. VanWezenbeeck, “Michael first tested the new TS2 at the Travelers Championship and immediately liked the sound and feel, as well as the increase in launch and ball speeds he saw. He put the driver in play for the first time the following week at the Quicken Loans National. He has the SureFit setting at a neutral A-1 and a 45” shaft.”
At the John Deere Classic, Kim averaged five yards more off the tee (294.8) and was nearly 30 percentage points (82.14%) higher in Driving Accuracy with his new TS2 driver compared to his 2017-18 season average.
Congratulations and a very happy birthday to you, Michael!
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Inside the Numbers:
Kim topped a leaderboard that included 10 of the 11 players who finished among the top 10 and ties, including Bronson Burgoon (Pro V1), Quicken Loans National champion Francesco Molinari (Pro V1x) and Joel Dahmen (Pro V1x), who finished in a four-way tie for 2nd. It was Dahmen’s second consecutive top five finish.
Harold Varner III (Pro V1x) placed solo 6th, another shot back, a week finishing 5th at the Greenbrier Classic.
According to Darrell Survey, 81% (126 of 156) of the John Deere Classic field relied upon either a Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x. That is nine (9) times the nearest competitor with 14.
Titleist was also the top choice in hybrids (22) and irons (45). Titleist Vokey Design wedges were also the field favorite in approach, sand and lob wedges (211) and Scotty Cameron putters (56) topped the putter category.
Kim’s winning performance marked the 25th victory for Titleist golf ball players on the 2017-18 season, more than three times the nearest competitor with 8.