Tom Kim is a Hero World Challenge debutant, but that didn’t stop Viktor Hovland from winning in 2021. Nor did it stop Scottie Scheffler from finishing a shot back of Hovland in solo second place.
If a newbie is going to get it done at the Hero World Challenge, I think it will be Mr. Kim.
The 20-year-old South Korean phenom took the golf world by storm this summer and fall. He finished top-25 at the U.S. Open, took solo third against an elite field at the Scottish Open, and dominated on Sunday to win the Wyndham Championship and earn his way into the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
Kim narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Tour Championship, but he’s in great shape to make it to East Lake in 2023. That’s because he’s already got another win under his belt this season at the Shriners Children’s Open.
Kim added top-25s at the ZOZO Championship and CJ Cup.
He’s a true global player who got his pro career going by playing well on the Asian Tour and Korean Tour. Kim’s last start came on the Japan Tour at the prestigious Dunlop Phoenix. He took T-4th and finished ahead of Corey Conners, Aaron Wise, and for a blast from the past, Ryo Ishikawa.
Here’s hoping Kim’s stardom burns longer than Ryo’s.
Last season on the PGA Tour, Kim did not have enough rounds recorded by ShotLink to be counted in the statistical rankings. In 34 rounds, he gained strokes per round in every category. That includes .727 on approach, which would have ranked sixth between Cam Smith and Hideki Matsuyama.
That’s good company to be in.