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kris kim golf

Young golf star will park GCSE revision to make PGA Tour debut

In the midst of some crunch exams, Kris Kim is putting his books down, picking up his golf bag and heading for Texas…

 

When I was revising for my GCSE exams, I temporarily gave up playing club medals and stablefords.

However, my studies might have been parked if I was about to make my PGA Tour debut which is the exact situation Kris Kim finds himself in.

Distractions come easy enough during your school years, but this 16-year-old amateur sensation is raring to go ahead of next week’s CJ Cup Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch.

“I’m so excited to tee it up in Texas. It’s what you work towards all the time and it’s an amazing opportunity,” he said a matter of weeks before his GCSE exams begin.

“I can’t wait to play in front of big crowds again. I’ve never hit the ball as far as I did at the Ryder Cup. The adrenalin rush makes golf so much fun. That said, having played that course, and a few more tour courses, I appreciate the task ahead and look forward to the challenge.”

“I am trying to revise, I promise, but it’s quite tough!” he added. “My schedule is quite busy right now.”

As Kim refers to, he starred at the 2023 Junior Ryder Cup in Rome where he claimed three and a half points for Team Europe and went undefeated in the continent’s first win at the event since 2006.

kris kim golf

Kris Kim: PGA Tour debut beckons for young star

The Surrey-based golfer capped that fine week with a 5&4 win in the singles format against 15-year-old Miles Russell who recently made headlines of his own when he came tied for 20th on the Korn Ferry Tour’s Suncoast Classic last week.

Despite his youthfulness, Kim can look back on 2023 as the year he came of age as he also tasted success in the Boys’ Amateur Championship, the European Boys’ Individual Championship and the McGregor Trophy.

As the first amateur golfer to become sponsored by the Korea-based CJ Group, which also represents Sungjae Im, Si Woo Kim, KH Lee and Ben An, Kim has also become the first European amateur to sign a NIL contract (Named Image and Likeness) with Under Armour and the first British amateur to sign a NIL deal with TaylorMade.

“I’m a huge Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy fan so when they signed for TaylorMade I desperately wanted to use their clubs too. I’ve been doing so for three years and signing for them is very exciting,” he said.

Kim might be inspired by the likes of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, but also his mother Ji-Hyun Suh who played on the LPGA Tour in the 1990’s. He is looking to harness her advice and the experience of the event to complete step one to make the cut.

“I’ll definitely ask my mum for advice,” he said. “It is going to be a very different environment and you don’t know how you will respond to it. She’ll help me deal with it.

“She’s my coach and we talk about everything from dealing with nerves, taking one shot at a time, leaving bad shots behind and keeping it simple right through to course strategy.

“My first aim is to make the cut and then see what happens. At the end of the day, I’m one of 144 competitors and we’ve all got a chance. Whatever happens, it’s going to be super helpful for my future because I’ll gain so much experience.

“I know I’m still young and pretty much every week I learn a lesson, but this week is going to be a lot bigger!”

NOW READ: Where else could Kris Kim play on the PGA Tour schedule?

NOW READ: Is The CJ Cup Byron Nelson a Signature Event?

What did you make of this Kris Kim golf story? Tell us on X!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spent time with some of the biggest names in the sport.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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