NASSAU, Bahamas – Tom Kim was gazing at his phone as he headed to the first tee at Albany Resort for the second round at the Hero World Challenge. At the time, South Korea was tied, 1-1, in the nation’s final group stage match against Portugal at the World Cup.
More than four hours later, he walked out of scoring following a second-round 72 that left him two shots off the lead and checked the score of the pivotal match.
“Oh, wow,” he smiled. “Goosebumps.”
South Korea stunned Portugal, 2-1, to advance to the Round of 16 in Qatar and for Kim, there was no hiding his excitement.
“I've been watching obviously Korea a lot. I was watching it before coming out and teeing off. I was kind of hoping, I wanted to finish the match, but I was kind of praying while I was playing,” he said. “It definitely motivated me, to be honest, seeing them do what they're doing for Korea and watching the Koreans this week and hopefully try to ride the flag on the PGA Tour.”
Kim emerged on the world stage earlier this fall when he went 2-3-0 for the International team at the Presidents Cup. Having been on the international stage at Quail Hollow also gave the 20-year-old a greater appreciation for moments like Friday’s victory for South Korea.
“It’s so cool,” he smiled