Tom Kim is only 20 years old, but he has already made a name for himself in his short but impressive career.
During Saturday’s Presidents’ Cup Fourball, Kim paired with Si Woo Kim to clear a 10-foot birdie in 18th place to defeat the powerful US duo Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantley. Kim, a South Korean, got off his kick before he fell and threw his hat to the ground, Tiger Woods style.
It was a moment that Kim foresaw and now he cherishes it.
“I remember every moment I walked to this green and looked at this shot, seeing my whole team there,” Kim said on Wednesday at TPC Summerlin before the Shriners Children’s Open. “I just looked down and thought to myself, ‘Dude, I want this putt to go more than anything because I’m just not playing for myself, I’m playing for everyone on [the International] team.'”
Kim said that as soon as he hit the ball, he knew it was coming.
Now this moment is a great source of “motivation” for him, but it also reminds him of a not-so-good memory from the weekend.
Full field time at the Shriners Children’s Open
“The funniest [the] The PGA Tour was really like a five-minute YouTube video,” he said. “They had all the routine and everything. But the funny thing is that after this video ended, Max [Homa] goes and says “Subscribe here and like” and I would like to disable this feature because I’m still angry about losing to Max.
After Kim’s Saturday heroism that kept the international team within reach of the beloved US team, Kim lost to Homa in Sunday’s singles.
However, despite losing to Team USA’s breakout star, Kim personally bears no hard feelings towards Homa.
“(Homa) is an amazing person,” said Kim. “It was the first time I had any time with him that Sunday, but as much as I hated to lose, he played great in the last stretch. I’m still very angry about this, but in a good way. I have a lot of respect for him.”
The feeling is mutual.
“Tom is obviously a rock star,” Homa said on Wednesday. “I think, first of all, that he is an amazingly pleasant person. I’ve been listening to it on podcasts lately and it’s great. He has a fresh take on the game of golf, which is cool. He’s 20 years old, so it’s amazing to even be here.
“I know he has been playing professional golf for a while, longer than you would expect from a 20-year-old player, but the possibility of qualifying for the Presidents Cup at that age is crazy to me. He played amazing all week. He was the team’s catalyst.”
With a Tour win (Kim won the Wyndham Championship in August for his first Tour win) and a classic Presidents Cup achievement on his resume, Kim, world No. 21, is now looking forward to his first full season on the Tour.
And as Kim’s career is just beginning, he will continue to strive for many more unforgettable moments, but above all he wants to win.
“Tiger has 82 PGA Tour wins,” Kim said. “Until I’m 83, it’s going to be hard for me to think a little differently.”