Tom Kim, the 21-year-old South Korean golf sensation, celebrated a thrilling title defense at the Shriners Children’s Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas. Kim edged out Canadian golfer Adam Hadwin by just one stroke in a nail-biting final round.
Kim, who shot an impressive nine-under 62 on Saturday, clinched the $1.512 million winner’s prize with a final round score of 66. His victory marked a successful defense of his Shriners Children’s Open title, a feat not achieved since Jim Furyk in 1999. Remarkably, Kim also became the youngest golfer to secure three PGA Tour titles since the legendary Tiger Woods.
A Humble Celebration
Instead of indulging in the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip, Kim opted for a quieter celebration. He retreated to his hotel room and savored white chocolate Ferrero Rocher brought over from Europe, enjoyed room service, and set an alarm for 3 a.m. to catch an early morning flight.
Kim explained his preference, saying, “I’m not a really big fancy, loud type of guy, so when I come to Vegas, I don’t really like going to the strip. I stay five minutes from the course where it’s really quiet and it’s really nice. Back-to-back is great, so Summerlin and I are bonded very well. Hopefully, it’s nice to me again next year, as well.”
Meteoric Rise in Golf
Kim’s recent success has been nothing short of meteoric. He turned pro in 2018 and clinched his first PGA Tour title at the Wyndham Championship in August 2022. With his latest victory, he ascended to a career-high world ranking of No. 11.
This season, Kim made a significant impact on major tournaments. While he hadn’t previously cracked the top 20 at a major, he secured tied-16th at The Masters, improved to tied-eighth at the US Open, and finished as a joint runner-up at the Open Championship.
A Special Win for a Special Cause
The Shriners Children’s Open holds a unique place in Kim’s heart as it benefits Shriners hospitals, which provide free treatment for children with certain medical conditions. Kim expressed his appreciation for the tournament’s mission, saying, “I think because it’s sponsored by Shriners Children’s, that’s even more special. I’m just really glad that I kept the trophy in my hands this year again.”
Kim’s steady play and strong finish secured his victory, while Adam Hadwin, despite a good round, couldn’t catch up after a mishap on the 16th hole.
“Tom is just so steady… fairways and greens, he never gets out of rhythm, out of pace,” Hadwin remarked. “I knew it was going to take a good round to compete and to win.”
Tom Kim’s remarkable achievements at such a young age continue to mark him as one of golf’s brightest rising stars, and his success on the course is matched by his commitment to supporting a worthy cause.