Kim Joo-hyung, 21, is making his first appearance at the Tour Championship, the season finale on the U.S. Professional Golf (PGA) Tour, and vows to play with no regrets, saying he wants to “give it my all.”
“It’s a tournament with 30 of the best golfers in the world,” Kim said in a video interview with reporters two days before the start of the Tour Championship. I’ve seen a lot of them on TV, and I think the course will suit me well, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Kim will compete in the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, starting on the 24th.
The Tour Championship is the third and final stop on the PGA Tour’s season-long FedExCup Playoffs, which will feature the top 30 players in the FedExCup points standings heading into the second round of the BMW Championship.
After competing on the PGA Tour as a special provisional member, Kim won the Wyndham Championship last August to officially join the Tour, advancing to the second round of the playoffs for the 2021-2022 season.
Kim was 34th in the FedExCup standings going into the second round and missed out on the Tour Championship.
This season, after winning his second career PGA Tour title at the Shriners Hospitality Open in October, he racked up eight top-10 finishes and finished 16th in the FedExCup, the highest finish by a Korean player, leading up to the BMW Championship.
“I’d like to give myself a season score of ’20’ because I haven’t won this year, but I’ve matured and gained good experience, so I think it’s more like 50 or 60,” Kim said.
Compared to himself a year ago, he said, “There is a big difference in mindset when playing. I learn a lot about life as well as golf,” he said. “Technically, my ball speed has increased a lot and my swing timing is different. “Technically, my ball speed has increased and my swing timing has changed. I’ve gotten in better shape because I’ve been working out a lot, and my short game has improved,” he said, describing himself as a “completely different player.
For someone who has been playing golf since he was young and traveling around the world, the adjustment to the PGA Tour was not easy.
“It’s actually my first season on the PGA Tour, so there are a lot of courses that I don’t know, so it was the hardest to get used to the course,” Kim said. “Other players might be going to that course for the 10th time, so they might feel comfortable in the same place, but I had a lot to learn.”
“I’m sure other athletes have gone through the same experience, so I think it’s something I have to go through as well,” he said with a smile.
Kim, who is known for his fluency in English and friendliness, said he benefited from quickly making friends with world-class players, including current world No. 1 and No. 2 Scottie Shaffler (USA) and Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland).
“When things weren’t going well and I was struggling mentally, I would ask them and they would say, ‘You’re young, you’re good enough. You’re young, you’re good enough, you’re going to get there,’ and they said a lot of good things,” he said. “It was a big boost, and it made me believe in myself.”
As for his “best moment of the season,” he cited last month’s Major Open, where he finished runner-up despite suffering from an ankle injury.
“Before that, I was stressed because I wasn’t performing as well as I wanted to, but finishing second at a major gave me a chance to relax and think positively,” Kim said.
His biggest disappointment, however, was the Masters in April, where he finished tied for 16th.
“I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time, so I put in a lot of effort, but I think I was inexperienced because it was my first time competing,” he said, smiling, “but now that I’ve done it, I’ll try to do better next year.”
His injury hasn’t completely disappeared yet, and his ankle still feels stiff when he walks a lot or practices for a long time, but the Tour Championship is a great motivator for him.
“No matter how well you play during the year, if you don’t make it to the playoffs, it’s a disappointing end,” Kim said. “I’m in good shape and my confidence has increased since the Open, so I’m going to play with a relaxed mindset.”
“After the injury, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to play in the playoffs, but it’s not too bad, so I’m happy to be able to play,” he said, adding, “I’m doing well with the icing and treatment, and I’m trying to keep it under control.”
The Tour Championship will feature a “bonus shot” based on the current FedExCup standings, meaning players will start the tournament with a different number of shots. Schauffler, the FedExCup leader, starts at 10-under, while Kim starts at 2-under.
“I’m eight shots off the lead and there are a lot of great players in the field, but nothing is impossible, so if I can hit the ball without getting sick, I think I have a chance,” Kim said, adding, “It’s the last tournament of the season, so I’ll do my best with all my heart.” 파워볼사이트