Rolex Series

Tom Kim credits global experience for Scottish success

Tom Kim believes his experience as a global player has helped him adapt to playing in Scotland as he looks to continue his love affair with the Genesis Scottish Open.

Tom Kim

The South Korean announced himself on the DP World Tour and PGA TOUR by finishing third at this event in 2022 but his journey did not begin there.

He turned professional at the age of 15 and played on tours in his homeland, Thailand and the Philippines, as well as the Asian Tour, before making his breakthrough at The Renaissance Club. 

Since then he has claimed three wins on the PGA TOUR and played in the Presidents Cup, firmly establishing himself in the top 30 on the Official World Golf Ranking.

His third place finish on his Rolex Series debut two years ago was followed by a tie for sixth last season and Kim admits he feels at home with his golf in Scotland.

"There's certain adjustments that you need to make for sure," he said. "Because like with tee-shots, you're definitely hitting it a little bit lower than you would actually normally do just because of wind and using the ground to your advantage.

"People think that... you can't hit it high and stuff, and to a certain point you're right, but that actually gives you an opportunity to hit a different club and use the ground to your advantage.

"Culture shock-wise, I don't really think (it's an issue) because as a kid, I turned pro when I was 15, and I had to travel all around the world to get to the PGA TOUR.

"So adjusting to new places I'm very familiar with. If you want to be as good as you want to be in the world, you have to come out here and adjust.

Tom Kim

"You can't just play well in the U.S. You have to come out here and prove that you can play. I feel like adjustment-wise I love playing out here and I love playing in the U.S. I think adjustment-wise, it's really cool."

One of those necessary adjustments is the wind on the Scottish coast and Kim is particularly relishing that challenge a week before The Open Championship.

"Skill-wise, it gets to a certain point with the wind because mental toughness comes a lot into play when the conditions get tough because you have to be OK with tough breaks," he said.

"You might hit a perfect golf shot and because the wind gusts four miles an hour, you're going to have bad breaks - and to be OK with that and move on is all about just sucking it up and getting that mindset of, 'it happens'.

"I think people who succeed out here in the wind definitely are good at that and people who struggle I think just have a hard time adjusting to that."

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