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Chris Kirk wins Korn Ferry Tour’s King & Bear Classic

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) Chris Kirk won the Korn Ferry Tour’s King & Bear Classic on Saturday at World Golf Village, a year after taking a leave of absence from the PGA Tour to fight alcohol abuse and depression.

“It gives me a deeper sense of appreciation and gratitude for everything. I’m a completely different person than I was two years ago,” Kirk said. “I can’t wait to get home tonight and give my wife and three boys a hug and that’s what I care more about now. It’s amazing seeing the complete shift in my mentality as far as that’s concerned.”

Kirk birdied the par-5 18th hole for a 5-under 67 and a one-stroke victory over Justin Lower in the PGA Tour’s developmental circuit’s second straight one-time event to make up for events lost to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown. On Sunday, fellow PGA Tour player Luke List won at Dye’s Valley Course at the TPC Sawgrass.

Kirk finished at 26-under 262. Since returning to competition at Mayakoba, Kirk has missed missed cuts in five of seven PGA Tour starts. He tied for 60th last week at Colonial in the Charles Schwab Challenge, site of his last PGA Tour win five years ago,

Lower closed with a 66. Joseph Bramlett (64) and Will Zalatoris (68) tied for third at 23 under.

Third-round leader Vince India, a day after matching the course record with a 62, had a 76 to tie for sixth at 21 under.

Updated June 21, 2020

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