Tom Kim returns to the site of his second career PGA Tour start and first in the United States.
While many know him for bursting onto the scene with solo third at the Genesis Scottish Open, or wins at the Wyndham Championship and Shriners Children’s Open, or for his stellar play at the Presidents Cup, the 2022 AT&T Byron Nelson was just as instrumental in Kim’s transition to a budding star.
The 20-year-old South Korean showed plenty of poise in finishing T-17th last year at TPC Craig Ranch. After a pedestrian 70 in round one, Kim showed his talent by climbing the leaderboard with 67-66-67.
The honeymoon period from his hot streak in Q3 and Q4 last year has ended. That’s to be expected from a youngster like him.
Kim is far from playing poor golf, but he’s seeing new courses every week and is still learning on the fly in some ways.
He’s made seven of his last eight stroke play cuts, but has just one top-10, a T-6th at The American Express. However, he and countryman Si Woo Kim took T-7th together at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Kim was in red figures three of four days last week at a tough venue, Quail Hollow, at the Wells Fargo Championship. He took T-23rd.
He ranks 22nd on the PGA Tour in total strokes gained per round (1.044). His strengths are tee-to-green (14th, 1.228) and approach-the-green (.648).
Kim’s iron play could give him a lengthy career.
He’s 11th in greens in regulation (70.25%) and first in approach proximity from 125-150 yards (18’7”).
Kim is very accurate off the tee, ranking second in fairway percentage (70.09%). This is not as big of a factor this week on what expects to be a soft golf course with wide fairways, but it still is useful to allow him to set up angles for his approaches.