Tom Kim ‘motivated’ by Presidents Cup heroics while also being ‘angered’ by shortcomings

Tom Kim ‘motivated’ by Presidents Cup heroics while also being ‘angered’ by shortcomings
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Tom Kim may only be 20 years old, but he’s already made a name for himself in the span of his short, but impressive, career. 

During Saturday’s fourball session at the Presidents Cup, Kim, paired with Si Woo Kim, drained a 10-foot birdie on No. 18 to clinch a victory over U.S. powerhouse duo Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay. Kim, a South Korean, walked off his putt before it dropped and threw his hat to the ground in a Tiger Woods-esque celebration. 

It was a moment Kim envisioned, and one he now cherishes. 

“I can remember every single moment of me walking up to that green and looking at that putt, seeing my whole team there,” Kim said Wednesday at TPC Summerlin ahead of the Shriners Children’s Open. “I was just looking down and thinking to myself that ‘Man, I want this putt to go in more than anything in the world, because I’m just not playing for myself, I’m playing for everyone on [the International] team.'”

Kim said as soon as he hit the putt, he knew it was going in.

Now, the moment is a great source of “motivation” for him, but it also reminds him of a not-so-great memory from the weekend.

Full-field tee times from the Shriners Children’s Open

“The funny thing is [the] PGA Tour did like a five-minute video thing on YouTube,” he said. “They had the whole routine and everything. But what’s funny is that, after that video finishes, Max [Homa] goes and says, ‘Subscribe here and like here,’ and I wish I would have turned it off because I’m still kind of angered at losing to Max.”

After Kim’s Saturday heroics, which kept the International team within striking distance of a heavily-favored U.S. team, Kim fell to Homa in Sunday singles. 

However, despite losing to Team USA’s own breakout star, Kim doesn’t have any hard feelings toward Homa, personally.

Tom Kim adjusting to stardom after Presidents Cup

“(Homa’s) an amazing person,” Kim said. “It was the first time I got to spend some time with him on that Sunday, but as much as I hate losing, he played great on that final last stretch. I’m still pretty pissed about it, but in a good way. I have so much respect for him.”

The feeling is mutual. 

“Tom is obviously a rock star,” Homa said Wednesday. “I think, first and foremost, he’s an amazingly nice person. I’ve listened to him on podcasts as of late, and he’s great. He’s got that fresh outlook on the game of golf, which is cool. He’s 20 years old, so that’s amazing to even be out here. 

“I know he’s been playing professional golf for a little while, longer than you’d expect a 20-year-old, but to be able to qualify for the Presidents Cup at that age is crazy to me. He played awesome all week. He was the catalyst of the team.”

With a Tour victory (Kim won the Wyndham Championship in August for his maiden Tour win) and a classic Presidents Cup highlight on his resume, Kim, the world No. 21, is now looking forward to his first full season on Tour.

And with Kim’s career just getting started, he’ll continue to strive for many more indelible moments, but, above all, wants victories. 

“Tiger has 82 wins on the PGA Tour,” Kim said. “Until I get to 83, it’s going to be hard for me to think a little different.”

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