Kim shoots 64, builds John Deere lead to 5

Although Michael Kim has never won as a pro, he’s playing like he has been there before.

Kim, from Alameda and Cal, birdied his last four holes to shoot 7-under-par 64 and take a five-stroke lead over Bronson Burgoon after three rounds of the rain-plagued John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.

“All the guys I played against in the 2011 (high school) class, I felt like I was just as good as those guys,” Kim said, speaking of Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Daniel Berger and others. “Seeing them do those things, win majors, win tournaments, is really motivating trying to keep up with them. It’s just been added motivation for sure.

“You know, coming into the day I kind of told myself: ‘It’s your birthday. Just try and have a stress-free day as possible.’ Very satisfied with the score I shot today. I feel like I’m pretty used to rain delays from I’m comfortable going in and going out. I felt good.

“I really like late tee times. I can just relax in the morning, take it easy. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Kim, who has only one top-10 finish in 84 career PGA Tour starts after winning 11 times in two seasons at Cal and earning the 2013 Nicklaus and Haskins awards, recorded a 54-hole score of 22-under 191.

Burgoon sank a six-foot eagle putt on the second hole and birdied the last three for a 66, while Matt Jones of Australia is six shots back in third after holing his second shot from 37 feet for an eagle at No. 17, and Harold Varner III is one more behind in fourth after his own 66.

Andres Romero of Argentina followed an opening bogey with a 43-foot eagle putt on the second hole to kick-start a 64 and is eight behind in a tie for fifth with Sam Ryder, who posted a bogey-free 67.

Joel Dahmen carded a 65 and is nine strokes down in a tie for seventh with Denny McCarthy (66), Robert Garrigus (68), Johnson Wagner (70) and David Hearn (70) of Canada.

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