Michael Kim, on verge of second straight 63, opens four-stroke lead at the John Deere Classic
Anytime a tour pro shoots a career-low round, logic tells them to re-arrange expectations for their next round. It's unfair to expect something identical, or even similar, golf being such a fickle game. Apparently, no one told any of this to Michael Kim.
Kim, 24, was a two-putt at 18 away from a second-straight 63 on Friday at the John Deere Classic, when play was suspended for the day by inclement weather. At 16-under par, he leads by four. While the scoring conditions have been ideal at TPC Deere Run, it's still an impressive feat for the up-and-comer who won the 2013 Haskins Award, given to the national player of the year in men's college golf.
Through 35 holes, Kim has made just one bogey against his 17 birdies, the most of any player in the field. He also ranks first in total strokes-gained.
Among a group at 12-under is first-round leader Steve Wheatcroft, who followed up his career-low 62 on Thursday with a second-round 68, keeping himself in the mix heading into the weekend. In what's been a tough year for the journeyman tour pro, that's all he can really ask for.
"It's great, any time I'm near the leader, at least in the final few groups where I can at least make a run and have a chance maybe on Sunday," Wheatcroft said. "Who knows? But, yeah, it's been a rough year. Anywhere near the lead is good right now."
He's joined by Canadian David Hearn, a fellow journeyman still in search of his first tour victory in his 246th start. Hearn fired a seven-under 64, matching the lowest round of his career, one of which came in the third round of the 2013 John Deere Classic.
"That was a good moment in my career," said Hearn, who went on to finish T-2 that week. "I came close to getting a win and I was real proud of the way I played.
"Getting back here this year and putting together two nice rounds to start like that feels very good. We're only halfway there, so see where we can go on the weekend."
Francesco Molinari kept it rolling on Friday, carding a five-under 66 to pair with his first-round 65. He's at 11-under 131, five back.