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  • Writer's pictureBen Maroco

Tom Kim, The GOAT In The Making

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Tom Kim is a professional golfer from South Korea. He became the youngest player since Tiger Woods to win two PGA Tour events before the age of 21. The 'Thomas the Tank Engine' superfan has been dubbed the sport's "next big thing." Tom Kim may be a new name in professional golf, but fans should get accustomed to hearing it since the player is on his way to becoming one of the greats! The 20-year-old Korean superstar made his Masters debut in 2023, playing his first practice round alongside Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

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Fred Couple, Tom Kim, Rory Mcilroy and Tiger Woods at Augusta National during The Masters

Golf legend Fred Couples was also part of the fantastic foursome and couldn't stop praising the rising sports sensation.

"I love Tom Kim," the 1992 Masters champion told The Augusta Chronicle. "I believe he was excited to play with Rory and Tiger. He had a great time, and they adore him. Rory has played with him a few times. I don't believe Tiger has ever done so, but he's a fantastic player. He hits the ball quite well."

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Tom Kim Bio

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Tom Kim at ZOZO Championship

According to The Athletic, Tom was born Joohyung Kim on June 21, 2002 in Seoul to parents Changik Lee and Kwanjoo Kim. Changik was a "mini-tour pro turned teaching professional" who taught his son the fundamentals of the game. Changik, a veteran, soon saw his child's ability, so he and Kwanjoo resigned their jobs and moved the family around the world to help Tom Kim golf's abilities.

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"My parents stopped working in order to support me. So it was just about me accomplishing my goals and pursuing my dreams. By the age of 15, I was playing professionally."

With his family moving around to prepare Joohyung for success, he eventually ended up in Australia when he was five years old. He'd learn English and become a world-class junior player there. During this period, the young athlete became obsessed with the children's television show Thomas The Tank Engine. So much so that he acquired all the toys and apparel and began going by the name "Thomas," according to The Athletic. By the age of 11, everyone called him "Tom."

Tom Kim's Professional Career

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Kim Kim wins Shriners Children's Open

To summarize his rapid climb, Tom became the only player since Woods to win twice on the PGA Tour before the age of 21, and all of this happened within a few months of 2022, a year he began with only an Asian Tour pro card! Tom won the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina in August and the Shriners Children's Open in Las Vegas two months later. He is now ranked No. 19 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

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Following his outstanding performance in the Presidents Cup in September, 2022, Trevor Immelman, the tournament's International Team captain, told The Athletic, "Tom Kim is absolutely poised as the next global superstar." He has an extraordinary capacity to exude confidence while remaining humble. He's like a bright light. He inspires you to cheer for him."

Tom Kim Net Worth

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Tom Kim excites fans during Presidents Cup

According to The Athletic, Tom signed a lucrative endorsement agreement with Nike in January 2023 for an unknown sum.

"He wants to be the GOAT," Kim's representative, Ben Harrison, told the site. "And, you know, you've got to be among them if you want to be the GOAT." As a result, Nike is such an elite global brand for him. All of the world's finest athletes have been with them at some point."

He might be a little less weathy than home compatriots but things are shaping up right.

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