Michael Kim opens comfortable lead at delayed John Deere Classic


Here is a recap of Friday’s second round at the John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.:

LEADING: Michael Kim could be on his way to a huge breakthrough.

The former Cal star couldn’t finish his second round, as play was suspended for roughly 50 minutes late in the day due to threatening weather and then delayed again (this time for the day) due to severe weather shortly after play resumed.

But Kim cruised through TPC Deere Run anyway. He birdied eight of his first 14 holes Friday and is 8 under (and bogey-free) on his round through 17 holes. He’s 16 under overall and boasts a four-shot lead going into Saturday.

Kim will resume his second round Saturday at 9 a.m. ET, facing a 27-foot birdie chip from fairway right of the green at the par-4 18th.

The 24-year-old was a standout at Cal, winning the 2013 Haskins Award and leading a Bears team considered one of the greatest in college golf history. He shined in that summer’s U.S. Open, too, tying for 17th and earning low amateur honors.

His pro career has been a slow burn, but he’s steadily progressing. Kim finished the 2015 season 13th on the Web.com Tour money list to earn his PGA Tour card and has had it ever since.

He finished 115th in FedEx Cup points in 2015-16 and 95th in 2016-17. He has struggled this season and currently sits 161st.

But that could change very quickly, as Kim eyes his first PGA Tour win with two days to go.

CHASING: First-round leader Steve Wheatcroft fires a 3-under 68 but falls back to a tie for second at 12 under. He sits at that number alongside David Hearn (64) and Johnson Wagner (66). Francesco Molinari (66) is tied for fifth at 11 under with Matt Jones (63) and Bronson Burgoon (8 under on his second round through 15).

Also, a note on third-round tee times…

SHOT OF THE DAY: Molinari’s strong second round included this long birdie putt…

SHORT SHOTS: John Huh goes with a 63 on Friday to jump 67 spots to a tie for 12th at 9 under. … Dylan Meyer continues to shine in his early pro days. The former Illini star already has top 20s at the U.S. Open and Travelers since turning pro after NCAAs. Another could be coming this week. Consecutive 68s has him tied for 24th at 6 under. … Three-time champion Steve Stricker fires a second-round 66 to also reach 6 under. … Mackenzie Hughes rockets 78 spots to a tie for 34th at 5 under after a second-round 65. … It appears John Deere stalwart Zach Johnson will make the cut. He finishes 36 holes at 3 under and is T-66. Barring something really strange when Round 2 finishes up tomorrow morning, he should make the weekend on the number. … Jason Gore, Rory Sabbatini, Doug Ghim and David Berganio Jr. all add to the withdraw count. Danny Lee is DQ’d.

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