CHARLOTTE — In case you or I occurred to separate our pants in a really public method, a lot much less twice in a single week, that might seemingly outline our picture for a while to come back. However within the case of Tom Kim, the 20-year-old South Korean spark plug who has emerged as a type of high-energy hurricane for the Worldwide staff on the Presidents Cup, he is been bursting on the seams in so many different ways in which it turns into only one extra endearing element. Within the area of three days, he is been thrilling and hilarious on the similar time, and has shortly turn out to be a favourite of his teammates and followers. (Journalists, too; when Digest’s Joel Beall received wind of this story, he insisted on being quoted on Kim: “He’s a fantastic golden retriever of a human.”)
On Friday night, within the somber aftermath of a four-ball session that noticed the Internationals fall behind the Individuals, 8-2, Mito Pereira, Sebastian Munoz, and Christian Bezuidenhout had been requested the next query:
“For every of you, give me one man who you actually did not know on the staff, however all through this week now, you are like, man, I like this dude. He cracks me up or one thing about him that is … as a result of everybody goes to have a distinct man.”
Because it turned out, the premise of the query was flawed, and Pereira shortly corrected the document.
“I believe we’ll have the identical one,” he stated. “Tom Kim.”
After a sizzling summer season that appeared to come back out of nowhere, Kim secured his PGA Tour standing for subsequent season and his spot on the Presidents Cup staff with a victory on the Wyndham Championship in August. There, followers had been dazzled by his Sunday 61 and entertained by the trickle of particulars that emerged from his life, like the truth that he selected the title “Tom” as a result of he preferred the Thomas the Tank Engine cartoon as a toddler. (It was virtually “Buzz,” resulting from Buzz Lightyear.) He speaks three languages, and regardless of the comedian reduction that appears to come back like clockwork, he is an intense, targeted participant with the type of on-course poise at a younger age that invitations comparisons to Jordan Spieth and Collin Morikawa.
On the Presidents Cup, he began his marketing campaign with two losses, working into the Cameron Younger/Morikawa and Schauffele/Cantlay freight trains on Thursday and Friday. However even amidst that robust starting, he managed to turn out to be one of many distinguished characters in Charlotte.
One underrated second got here in a pre-tournament presser, when a reporter requested him if he had taken any inspiration from Y.E. Yang’s win over Tiger Woods on the 2009 PGA Championship, and whether or not that method of taking down a juggernaut may need echoes within the Worldwide Workforce’s monumental activity of beating the Individuals.
Kim took the air out of that narrative shortly—he stated he was a Tiger fan rising up and did not need Yang to win. Later, he added that at the same time as a seven-year-old, he was upset in Yang’s win as a result of he needed to be the primary Korean to win a significant. That is swagger.
There was additionally the element of how a lot the person eats. All his teammates pinpointed Kim as probably the most voracious eater on the squad, and Kim himself waxed poetic about quick meals in a Tour video:
Then, on Friday, he pulled a Bubba Watson on the primary tee, encouraging the followers to cheer whereas he took his opening drive…which he promptly hit right into a fairway bunker:
In all probability probably the most enjoyable second of his week to date, although, got here on the eleventh gap in his foursomes match Saturday morning towards Sam Burns and World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler. After making a birdie putt on the tenth to sq. the match, he confronted this eagle putt after his teammate Ok.H. Lee drove the inexperienced:
The hearth, the fervour! And leaving the ball within the gap is an immediate traditional within the tour-sauce style. That put his staff 1 up, and would be the lingering reminiscence from that match and doubtless from the whole session. Kim went on to make a clutch par putt to go dormie on 16, and a par on 17 completed the job. That gave Kim his first Presidents Cup level, and to observe his vitality mild up Quail Hole, you get the sense there might be many extra.