Playing in the Tour Championship, the final U.S. Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour playoff event, for the first time in his career, 21-year-old Kim Joo-hyung (Nike Golf) says “anything is possible.”안전놀이터
“If I can hit the ball without getting sick, I think I always have a chance,” Kim said in a video interview ahead of the tournament’s opening round on Aug. 22. I’m eight strokes behind, but nothing is impossible,” he said.
The Tour Championship, the final round of the playoffs, begins with a different number of bonus strokes for each player based on their cumulative points standings.
Kim, who is 16th in the FedExCup standings and in the middle of the 30-man field, will start at 2-under par. While he is in a better position than the lower-ranked players who start at even par, he is still eight strokes behind world No. 1 Scott Schauffler (USA), who is at 10-under par.
“I had a bad time in the middle of the season, so I thought I might not make it to the Tour Championship, but I finished well and made it here,” said Kim. “As it’s the last tournament of the season, I want to put everything into this event. I will gather all my emotions, both good and bad, and put them together without regret.”
Just last year, Kim, who had no PGA Tour status, earned his “temporary special member” status by racking up points in invitational events. He went on to win the Wyndham Championship and quickly became a full member of the PGA Tour.
Last season, he missed the playoffs due to a near-miss, but in 2022-23, he held his own and made it all the way to the final 30-man Tour Championship.
Kim is one of this season’s winners, having dominated the Shriners Hospitality Open last October. However, he has taken a bit of a step back in 2023, which he admits he regrets.
“It was my first season, so there were a lot of new courses,” he said. “I’m usually quick to adapt to new courses, but the PGA Tour is definitely different. It was one of the most difficult things to adjust to.”
He gave himself a score of 50 to 60 this season. “I’d give myself a 20 because I didn’t win, but I think I’ve matured mentally and gained a lot of experience,” he said.
His best moment was at the World Championships. He suffered an ankle injury after slipping in the hostel during the event, but he fought back to finish second.
“My performance wasn’t bad before, but it was stressful because I wasn’t competing for the championship,” Kim said. “I was satisfied to finish second by six strokes, but I was happy with my position in a major.”
“I was disappointed with the Masters Tournament. 16th place wasn’t bad, but we worked so hard for this tournament,” he said. “It was our first tournament, so we fell short in a lot of ways, and I think we can do better next year.”
For Kim, experience is more important than immediate results. Over the course of the season, Kim has gotten to know world No. 1 Schaeffler, No. 2 Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) and No. 3 Jordan Spieth (USA) and asked for advice.
“They’re not just seniors, they’re the best players in the world, so there’s a lot to learn from them,” Kim said. “I remember when I was playing a little poorly, players like Scotty and Rory encouraged me by saying, ‘You can do better in the future,’” he said.
“Compared to last year, everything was incomparably different, including the process of playing and the mindset,” he said. “Even though we didn’t win, I think we definitely matured through a lot of experiences.”