December 21, 2022
Keep in mind after we thought a pandemic season two years in the past was loopy? Man, 2022 had all of it. The return of Tiger Woods, the formation of a controversial golf league(!), the disappearance (and reappearance) of one among golf’s most beloved figures and so, a lot extra. However now let’s take a breath. Right here, we’ll look again (and look forward) on the 10 most memorable moments of 2022.
No. 10: Nelly Korda’s rollercoaster yr ended with promise for 2023
No. 9: A recent face steals the present on the Presidents Cup
You bear in mind the 2-iron. However Trevor Immelman additionally has a narrative a couple of 4.
He’d heard one thing about this Tom Kim dude. Winner of the order of benefit for the 2020-21 season on the Asian Tour. Sat to the left of Greg Norman — yep — when it was introduced in February that LIV Golf Investments — yep — can be pumping $300 mil into that tour. Calls himself Tom; his first title is definitely Joohyung, however he preferred Thomas & Associates as a child, and there you go. A number of days after the Asian Tour-LIV announcement, the then-19-year-old performed with Dustin Johnson on the Saudi Worldwide, and Claude Harmon III, DJ’s coach, texted Immmelman, this yr’s Presidents Cup Worldwide captain, that this child wanted to be on his radar.
So on the Open Championship in July, Immelman had himself a glance.
It was the day earlier than the beginning. Kim was taking part in with Si Woo Kim. They caught up on the 4th at St. Andrews.
After turning away LIV, Tom Kim is shortly turning into a PGA Tour celebrity
“And he’s within the fairway, Tom,” Immelman stated in October on Harmon’s podcast, Son of a Butch. “And the outlet location is again proper. Wind is whipping loudly. And he simply pures this high-cut 4-iron into the center of the inexperienced. And I used to be like, man, you understand, first shot I ever see from this child, and it’s simply pure, proper the place he’s wanting.
“And walked with him for a couple of holes and instantly you possibly can really feel there’s one thing a bit totally different about him. He has a presence. He has self perception whereas nonetheless being humble. And he has this mentality the place he doesn’t shrink back from the limelight. You understand, he desires the ball when it issues most. And also you don’t see that each one that usually. You see a variety of nice athletes that make an unbelievable dwelling, however they similar to to have the ability to cruise underneath the fray and do effectively and have high 10s and end on podium and by no means actually put themselves on the market, and it’s not likely a knock on them.
“It’s extra about placing your self out there’s rattling troublesome. And it’s demanding. And there’s lots that comes with it. And it’s a pressure mentally. And there’s a variety of nervousness that comes with that. And so it’s not essentially a knock on that athlete, however I’m simply saying whenever you discover those that ask for that and wish that and demand that, these ones are particular. These ones are actually particular. And whenever you match that with supreme expertise is whenever you discover the magic, and this child has that, this child has that.”
From there, Immelman didn’t decide Kim for his staff.
At about that time, the selection was a no-doubter. After the Open, Kim gained the Wyndham Championship to safe his PGA Tour card, and some weeks after the Presidents Cup, performed in final September, Kim gained once more, on the Shriners Kids’s Open, and he heads into 2023 as the most recent subsequent massive factor. However as we glance again on the high tales of this yr, it’s the second that gave him that mantle that we’ll bear in mind most.
Contained in the second that swung the Presidents Cup
Again to the 2-iron.
Kim’s Internationals had been down, however rallying on the third day on the Presidents Cup. They’d misplaced each the primary day and second day 4-1, however cut up Saturday morning, and now Kim and accomplice Si Woo Kim had been even in four-ball with Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schaeuffle, the American juggernaut, on 18 at Quail Hole. And, from 220-plus out, Tom Kim sailed one in to about 10 toes, he made the putt and he danced round after the match-winner as if weren’t solely taking part in for the Presidents Cup, however the World and Stanley variations, too.
However Immelman tells all of it a lot, a lot better.
“So I used to be type of working round — it’s very troublesome as captain to know the place you could be,” Immelman started on the podcast. “And also you’re simply going by intuition and also you’re going by guts and also you’re listening to the radio — you’re beginning to perceive. They usually obtained to 17 all sq. and I joined him and Si Woo on the golf green on 17. And I went up and I gave him a pat on the shoulder, and I used to be like, come on, we’d like this level. He was like, I obtained it, I obtained it, I obtained it. They tie 17.
“They hit their tee pictures down 18. He hits a straight one, however as we’re strolling off the tee, he’s like, I whiffed that; I’m going to be to date again. So we’re strolling over the hill — now each groups are beginning to observe as a result of all people realizes that is the pivotal second. It was one of the intense moments I’ve ever felt on a golf course. The power was like, it was hitting you laborious. We get to his ball, and the man’s obtained like 237 or one thing like that. And he’s obtained 220, 222 to cowl that entrance left bunker. And Si Woo’s out in the suitable bushes, and we’re attempting to determine who ought to play first within the higher ball format. You understand, does Tom need stress on him, understanding the place Si Woo’s ball is, or does he need Si Woo as a bit little bit of insurance coverage?
After Tom Kim’s clutch putt got here a sporting gesture that almost all followers missed
“And we get phrase from Si Woo that he’s obtained a shot and he thinks he can get it up close to the inexperienced. And it’s taking a short time, and Tom simply says to me, inform him I’m going to go. Like he couldn’t wait anymore. He says inform him I’m going to go. So I radioed all the way down to Camilo [Villegas, assistant captain], I stated, Tom’s going. So Si Woo stands again for a short time, and the child pulls the 2-iron out, and Joe [Skovron, Kim’s caddie] says to him, excellent membership, regular 2-iron. And he will get over the ball, and I look again, and I see three carts of People 15 yards from him, like simply off the road, like they’re proper there. You could possibly really feel them. It’s the who’s who of American golf. It’s [Justin] Thomas, it’s [Jordan] Spieth, it’s [Max] Homa, it’s [Tony] Finau. It’s all their wives. It’s the caddies. I imply, you bought three golf carts full of the very best gamers on the earth. And they’re like steps from this child.”
“And then you definately obtained all of the American vice captains, who’ve all main championships and all that,” Harmon stated.
“And he slots this 2-iron, dude. Because it took off, that ball was by no means going to be outdoors of 15 toes. And that goes again to what I used to be saying earlier. Some folks really need that second. And others are in search of methods to shrink back from it. And after he hits the shot, I stroll as much as him, I put my arm round him, and I’m like, that was unbelievable, that was unbelievable.
“However I needed him to remain targeted as a result of the power hastily was, we obtained a shot at this now. And I simply stated to him, make that putt; keep targeted and make that putt. After which afterwards … the quantity of occasions we stated to him throughout the week, would you like that putt to win the Cup — as a result of afterwards when the media requested him about it, he stated I needed to make that putt greater than something on the earth. And it simply goes to point out in some way we obtained to him with all that throughout the week. However the child is an absolute stud. I’m extraordinarily excited to see what his future holds.”
Tom Kim stole the present on the Presidents Cup; what can we count on in 2023?
So then what does the longer term maintain?
30 Presidents Cup observations: Is Tom Kim … the following Rory McIlroy? And extra
Immelman, a former Masters winner, had a phrase on that, too.
Kim has it. The intangibles. In case you don’t suppose so, simply return and re-read from the beginning.
However about that half about being 220 out …
“The factor that’s going to be fascinating for me to see and the one hurdle that I imagine he nonetheless has to beat, is he doesn’t fairly have the facility,” Immelman stated on the podcast. “So he was the second-shortest hitter on our staff. Him and [Christiaan] Bezuidenhout had been the 2 shortest hitters. And I believed it was signal that he acquitted himself so effectively on a giant ballpark like Quail Hole. He has a bit extra of a knuckly ball flight and wishes circumstances to be agency. And might be extraordinarily harmful whenever you take a look at golf programs like Sedgefield, the place he gained the Wyndham, or Colonial or Sony, locations like that.
“Nevertheless it’s going to be fascinating to see if over the following few years, he continues to generate a bit pace to match all the pieces else, to the place he can bridge the hole. In case you take a look at simply that match, and who they had been taking part in towards, he was getting in with 2-iron after which the following match that got here by means of there, the [Sam] Burns–[Adam] Scott–[Cam] Davis–[Billy] Horschel match, Burns had 150 yards into that gap on 18, And Tom had 237. So it simply goes to point out, it actually is hard to maintain up. As a result of Sam Burns and Homa and Thomas and [Scottie] Scheffler, like these guys have all the talents, they usually have the facility to match that. That to me is the ultimate hurdle for Tom. I do know he’s solely 20, however it is going to be very fascinating to see if he can begin to harness a bit extra energy to the place he can bridge that hole. And as a substitute of getting — I do know he whiffed that tee shot; he informed me so in his personal phrases — however as a substitute of getting 237, can he be inside 200? To the place he has some type of medium iron in there. As a result of it is going to be very troublesome for him over the course of 4 days, be it at a significant, a U.S. Open, a Masters when it’s not agency and quick, for him to maintain up with the large weapons.”
Rory McIlroy asks 20-year-old Tom Kim about beer, and it’s all the pieces
He’s 20, proper? And our bodies develop and all that.
However perhaps we’d like one other story. It gained’t reply the questions in regards to the bodily stuff, however perhaps it’s foretelling.
Forward of his Shriners win, Kim was requested in regards to the second on the Presidents Cup.
Right here’s his reply.
“I can bear in mind each single second of me strolling as much as that inexperienced and taking a look at that putt, seeing my complete staff there,” Kim stated. “I used to be simply wanting down and pondering to myself that man, I would like this putt to go in additional than something on the earth, as a result of I’m simply not taking part in for myself, I’m taking part in for everybody on that staff.
“With the place we had been at on Saturday, understanding that one, two factors is simply an enormous distinction, and as soon as I hit that putt — I used to be placing so effectively that each one I wanted to do was simply have the suitable pace on it. As quickly as I hit it, I knew it was going to go in.
“I needed — the rationale why I ran that method, threw my cap that method as a result of I knew my staff was behind me. I’ve watched it a variety of occasions.
“I nonetheless watch it generally as a result of it provides me motivation.”
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Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Journal. In his function, he’s accountable for modifying, writing and creating tales throughout the golf area. And when he’s not writing about methods to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native might be taking part in the sport, hitting the ball left, proper and quick, and ingesting a chilly beer to scrub away his rating. You possibly can attain out to him about any of those subjects — his tales, his recreation or his beers — at [email protected]