Si Woo Kim played the three rounds of The American Express contested at PGA West’s Stadium Course without a bogey, carding 17 birdies and one eagle. But it was the final birdie, on the par-17th hole Sunday where he rolled in a 19-foot putt, that secured a one-shot win over Patrick Cantlay, who nearly stole the tournament with a final-round 61 that included a 38-foot birdie bomb at the last.
Kim’s iron play was solid all week as he ranked second in greens in regulation with his Callaway Apex Pro 19 irons. The clubs have KBS Tour V 125 shafts with Golf Pride’s MCC grips. Kim got off to a good start on the front nine that included a pitching wedge to seven feet at the fourth hole and a lob wedge to four feet at the seventh, both leading to birdies. Starting the back nine he knocked another pitching wedge tight at the 10th for another red number. At the par-5 11th, Kim made birdie again after chasing a driver off the deck up near the green and getting it up and down.
It is a play Kim is familiar with. “I have a lot of confidence with that shot,” Kim told Golf Digest in 2017. “I grew up playing that shot in amateur tournaments. The grass in Korea is much higher than here so the ball sat up on the fairways and it was an easier shot. But I still hit it here.”
Kim’s driver is a Callaway Epic Speed that he put in play last week at the Sony Open in Hawaii. The Epic Speed has a smaller footprint to improve aerodynamics with a forward center of gravity, a trait Kim favors. Kim averaged more than 300 yards off the tee and hit more than 70 percent of his fairways with the club. For the week he picked up more than 11 strokes on the field tee to green.
As for the putter Kim used for the winning stroke, it is an Odyssey Toulon Madison—the same model in Kevin Na’s bag when he won last week’s Sony Open.
What Si Woo Kim had in the bag at the 2021 American Express
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X
Driver: Callaway Epic Speed (Fujijura Ventus Black 70X), 8.5 degrees
3-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero, 13.5 degrees
5-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero, 18 degrees
Irons (3-PW): Callaway Apex Pro 19
Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5, (56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey Toulon Madison