As an invited player at the Genesis Championship, Kim Jae-min, 30, is no stranger to golf fans. But if you’re not a player, but a caddie, it’s a different story. He may be the most famous caddie in men’s golf.
After the first round of the 2023 KPGA Korean Tour’s Genesis Championship at Jack Nicklaus GC in Songdo, Incheon, on Wednesday, Kim shot an 11-over-par 84 to finish tied for 118th place and at the bottom of the leaderboard.
A better finish would have been nice, but just making his first appearance on the top tour meant a lot to Kim.
He caddied for Kim Young-soo (34, Dongmun Construction), who won the Genesis Championship last year. Genesis made a big splash last year with its caddie program, and Kim Jae-min was one of them.
Kim Young-soo offered to caddie for Kim Jae-min, who was his military successor, and advised him not to lose his dream of becoming a golf player, and he finally succeeded in stepping on the stage of the first tour, which seemed far away. Kim joined Kim Jae-min on the DP World Tour last year, where he won his first career title and rode his momentum to the Genesis Grand Prix.
Kim’s participation in the tournament was announced a week ago. After the first round, Kim said, “I’m so honored that Genesis gave me this opportunity. I’m grateful,” he said, “After all, it wasn’t easy to make it to the 1st Tour stage. I think today’s match was a good experience, and above all, I’m grateful to meet the senior military officer.”
Kim Jae-min, who was carrying Kim Young-soo’s golf bag until last week, said, “I practiced after the match. But when I started playing as a player, it was completely different from when I caddied. The biggest problem was physical fitness, and it was not easy to hit while walking,” he said.
Kim’s usual score is even par. “Young-soo told me to play casually, but the course was long and the greens were too fast. Other players said it was suitable, but it wasn’t for me,” he laughs.안전놀이터
Kim Jae-min, who qualified as a tour professional while caddying for Kim Young-soo, said, “I’m also dreaming of becoming a No. 1 tour player. Even if I don’t pass the seeding next week, I will continue to challenge myself.”
If he does become a full-time tour player, it will be a ‘happy parting’. “I hope so, and if my brother Youngsoo wants to help me at any time, I will definitely come over,” he emphasized.
Meanwhile, it was caddie Na Dae-hyun who carried Kim’s golf bag on the day. Kim Jae-min said, “I met him while caddying, and he’s the same age as me. As we became closer, I asked him for a favor.” “I aimed for a hole-in-one on the 17th hole (par-3) unconditionally. I birdied it today, and I’m going to look at the pin and hit it tomorrow.” For every hole-in-one made on the 17th hole of the tournament, both the player and caddie will receive a Genesis car as a prize.