Davis Thompson sets John Deere record for first PGA Tour win

Davis Thompson hits a shot at the John Deere Classic.

Davis Thompson made the John Deere Classic his first PGA Tour win.

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

During the final round of the John Deere Classic on Sunday, 2018 winner and PGA Tour Twitter king Michael Kim, as he does so often during events, took to Twitter.

But this time, it was a personal plea.

“Calm down Davis, no need to break the tournament scoring record of anything,” Kim wrote.

Back in 2018, for his first and only PGA Tour title, Kim set the John Deere Classic scoring record with a 27-under 257 total for four days.

Davis Thompson didn’t take Kim’s wishes into account.

Starting the day up by two after a sparkling 62 Saturday, Thompson kept his foot on the gas, making birdie on five of his first six holes, including making a 44-footer at the 1st, and then adding one more to turn in 29. He tallied two more birdies on the back nine to reach 28 under, besting Kim’s record at taking the John Deere Classic for his first PGA Tour victory.

“I’ve been working hard this year,” Thompson said. “It was okay for a while then I kind of got going this last month and played well last week. Just tried to keep it rolling this week; was able to get the win.”

The 25-year-old gets his breakthrough win in just his second season on Tour and just after his second career runner-up just a week ago in Detroit. Thompson’s game had been trending upward since the U.S. Open where he earned his first top-10 and first made cut in a major.

He credited the improvement to a new set of irons inserted just a few weeks before at the CJ Cup.

But his entire game was dialed in the Quad Cities as he played the first 27 holes of the weekend in 15 under par to seize a seven-shot lead as he started his back nine Sunday.

Davis Thompson plays his tee shot at the John Deere Classic.

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Jack Hirsh

He birdied the 10th hole to briefly bring in the potential of a second 59 this week at TPC Deere Run, but a hiccup and a missed green at the par-3 12th led to a bogey and quickly put that idea to rest.

Then superstar rookie Michael Thorbjornsen, making just his third PGA Tour start as a pro, finished off a run of six straight birdies to pull within three shots.

But instantly, Thorbjornsen bogeyed his next hole, the drivable par-4 14th and two groups later, Thompson came to the tee and blocked it next to the cart path right of the green. Facing a difficult downhill pitch shot, Thompson had a deft touch as he flew his ball onto the green and rolled it to within three feet of the hole. Any doubt was ended.

“And then the pitch shot on 14 really kind of — still try not to think about the golf tournament, but, yeah, the pitch shot on 14 really helped things,” he said.

In his typical fashion, he didn’t crack a smile.

From there, Thompson parred in his last four holes for a 64, the win and the record.

His win also continues a fun trend of the winner of the John Deere Classic coming from the same rental house shared by six pros for the week of the tournament. Thompson even stayed in the same room defending champion Sepp Straka was in last year. It’s now three wins in a row for the John Deere Classic’s “Champion House.”

As is tradition, Thompson now has to pay for the house for everyone who stayed there this week.

“I’ll gladly write the check for that,” Thompson joked afterward.

As an added bonus for the week, Thompson’s win gets him into the Open Championship as the top two players this week earned a place at Royal Troon. He’ll make his first start in that event in two weeks. The other spot went to C.T. Pan as the highest-ranked player tied for second.

Jack Hirsh

Golf.com Editor

Jack Hirsh is an assistant editor at GOLF. A Pennsylvania native, Jack is a 2020 graduate of Penn State University, earning degrees in broadcast journalism and political science. He was captain of his high school golf team and recently returned to the program to serve as head coach. Jack also still *tries* to remain competitive in local amateurs. Before joining GOLF, Jack spent two years working at a TV station in Bend, Oregon, primarily as a Multimedia Journalist/reporter, but also producing, anchoring and even presenting the weather. He can be reached at [email protected].



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