Joohyung (Tom) Kim – From Thomas The Tank Engine & Now Aged 18 Onto The PGA Tour World Stage.

Joohyung (Tom) Kim is a South Korean-born golfer who grew-up in Australia lived in the Phillipines and now lives in Thailand, and is contesting this week’s PGA Tour Corales Puntacana Championship in the Dominican Republic.

Though very little is known of Kim so we understook some research.

He got into golf in following his father to the local golf course and loved the game so much, that in 2016 he was scorer as the Asian Tour’s Manila Masters.

Kim turned pro in 2018 and won three times on the Asian Development Tour to earn promotion last year onto the Asian Tour.

He played in five 2019 Asian Tour events in the later half of the year brilliantly winning November’s Pansonic Indian Open in posting a closing day 65 in the reduced 54-hole event while enjoying three other top-10s including being one off the lead a week earlier with two holes to play

His win in India made him the second youngster to win on the Asian Tour.

A very proud looking Joohyung (Tom) Kim in winning the Panasonia Open India.

And prior to the COVID-19 golfing shutdown he played in four 2020 Asian Tour events finishing T4th in the Singapore Open and also T4th in the following week’s New Zealand Open, and banking close to $100,000 in prizemoney.

This week is just his third PGA Tour event but then there’s no advice of what his two prior events were other than he missed the cut in his inaugural event in the 2019/2020 season and earned nearly $14,000 with his 67th place finish in last fortnight’s Safeway Open though the event does not appear beside Kim’s name.

Though reseach has shown that event he missed the cut to be no less than the recent PGA Championship and teeing-up by virture of his top-100 world ranking.

And in attending a pre Corales Puntacana Championship press conference we now know why he’s called Tom or, as he revealed, Thomas.

“I got the name Thomas from Thomas the Tank Engine train when I was young,” he said.  “As I grew older, some people started calling me Tom and I thought it was just shorter and just more simple. I think by the time I was like 11 I went just by Tom.

Thomas The Tank Engine

“My brother even calls me Tom. It was kind of natural. And my family calls me Tom as well, my friends all call me Tom, so it kind of came natural to me. It was that kind of a name.

Thomas The Tank Engine was definitely one of my favourite shows and I had the whole thing.  I had the lunchbox, I had
the toys, yeah.”

It’s not often you make your US debut in a major and that’s what Kim achieved.

“Obviously my first PGA Tour event, and it was a major, at the PGA Championship was a huge experience,” he said.

“Obviously with the situation that we have right now, there weren’t fans allowed to go in, so everyone was telling me that it would have been a different feeling if they were there, but I was just happy to be there. I gave myself a chance
to play.

“It’s definitely different out here. The conditions, the greens, the fairways, the rough, it’s all new. And the pin positions as well on the PGA TOUR are different from tours that I play, so it’s definitely a big learning experience for me, a big step just to — it just shows how good these players are, these conditions.

“And to shoot high under par on tough weeks and the cuts in majors, the cuts on PGA Tour events, it just shows the difference in the level.

“It has been a huge experience for me and definitely puts a lot of things in practice differently as well and how I prepare for events. It just shows that — how much that I need to improve as a player. It’s definitely been a journey and I’m just glad to be here and hopefully to play here full time soon.”

Tom will play the opening two rounds of the $4m event in the company of Sweden’s Carl Pettersson and Canadian Michael Gligic.


Comments are closed.