South Korean golfer Tom Kim recently earned two PGA Tour victories before the age of 21 — a feat that was last accomplished 26 years ago by a young Tiger Woods.
On Sunday, Kim prevailed in a head-to-head matchup against former World Amateur No. 1-ranked golfer and 2021 FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay to bring home the first place prize at the Shiner Children’s Open.
Kim achieved his second PGA Tour win at 20 years and three months old, half a year younger than Woods was when he achieved the same feat at the Walt Disney World Golf Classic.
“It’s really amazing,” Kim told PGA Tour. “A few months ago, I didn’t have any status in the U.S., and now being a two-time winner on TOUR, having that place with Tiger, it’s an unbelievable feeling for me. It’s an honor for me, and it’s definitely a dream come true.”
Born Kim Joo-hyung in Seoul to former pro golfer Kim Chang-ik, the golfing phenom has drawn comparisons to Woods not only for his prodigious feel for the sport, but also for having a unique nickname of his own, which was inspired by Thomas the Tank Engine from the popular children’s TV show “Thomas & Friends.”
“I loved the show as a kid. I haven’t watched it or anything, but apparently, I really loved the train,” Kim told CNN. “As years went on, people started calling me Tom, it was shorter, so I went with Tom after that.”
After stellar performances at six tournaments, including top-50 finishes in both the US and British Opens, Kim will continue full steam ahead as full-time member of the PGA Tour with his most recent victory. His next stop will be the FedEx Cup playoffs next week, where he will compete for a spot at the PGA Tour championships this August.
“It’s going to be my eighth week in a row if I make it to the Tour Championship,” Kim said. “It’s a lot of golf, but I’m enjoying it and I’m honored to play on the PGA Tour, it’s incredible.”