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Tom Kim wins Shriners Children’s Open for 2nd straight year

Tom Kim fended off Adam Hadwin to successfully defend his title at the Shriners Children’s Open on Sunday in Las Vegas.

The 21-year-old from South Korea picked up his third career title, his 5-under 66 Sunday propelling him to 20-under 264 for the week at TPC Summerlin.

Kim was successful in his first time attempting to defend a title. He could not play in last August’s Wyndham Championship while nursing an ankle injury after winning his debut title there in 2022.

Kim became the first player to repeat at the tournament sponsored by the pediatric hospital network since Jim Furyk went back-to-back in 1998 and 1999.

“I’m 21, I’m not the oldest guy out here, and the kids here are even younger than me. I feel like I’m kind of close in age with them, and if there’s anything I can do just to inspire one kid out there, it would mean the world,” Kim said. “To repeat, it’s really cool, but (the) repeat was only possible because of the kids, because they inspired me so much at the start of the week.”

For the second straight year, Kim shot a 9-under 62 in the third round en route to victory. He entered Sunday tied for the lead with Hadwin and Lanto Griffin.

Kim made three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the back nine before saving three straight pars. Hadwin was the only player going who could catch him, but the Canadian put a ball in the water on the par-5 16th en route to a costly bogey before he birdied the 18th. He signed for a 67 and finished one stroke back.

“It really honestly was just a perfect little cut 6,” Hadwin said. “The ball still covers the front edge as long as it’s up the center of the green, and I completely whiffed it, up and out of it, and unfortunately one of my worst swings of the day at the least opportune time.”

Kim — who had birdied three of his first four holes before consecutive bogeys at Nos. 5-6 — made a 12-foot birdie putt at the 15th that got him to 20 under and proved to be the winning stroke.

“It was pretty intense, really,” Kim said. “It was just me and Adam, and I feel like it was almost match play once we got past 14. It was just him and me. It was whether I wanted it or he wants it, and we both just see what happens. It was probably the most emotional final round I’ve experienced win-wise the last year and a half.”

Eric Cole fired a bogey-free, 9-under 62 to shoot up into a tie for third at 18 under with Swede Alex Noren (65), J.T. Poston (66) and Canada’s Taylor Pendrith (67).

Cole sank seven birdies in a 10-hole stretch from the fifth through the 14th, including a 45-foot holeout from the greenside bunker at the par-4 11th.

“I think 15, if I could have birdied 15, and then 16, if I would have hit a better drive, I feel like if I would have got those two, it would have maybe changed things a little bit,” Cole said. “But like I said, I was happy to be where I was on the back nine, and I wish I could have got a few more.”

Swedish rising star Ludvig Aberg also posted a 62 Sunday to tie for 13th at 16 under. Griffin struggled to a 1-over 70 and was part of that tie as well.

–Field Level Media

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