The strange reason Tom Kim needed sponsor’s exemption into Genesis Scottish Open

Pro golfer Tom Kim sits for press conference at 2024 Genesis Scottish Open

Tom Kim is playing the Genesis Scottish Open, no matter what way he got there.

Harry How/Getty Images

On Tuesday night, a strange story started bubbling up on social media. According to the reports, 22-year-old rising star Tom Kim was forced to rely on a last-minute sponsor’s exemption to get into this week’s Genesis Scottish Open field, despite being fully exempt into the event.

A reason was not revealed. So, what gives?

First, Kim’s eligibility. In two and a half seasons on the PGA Tour, Kim has already collected three PGA Tour wins. Two of those came last season and helped him finish the year at 20th in the FedEx Cup standings, earning him spots in any Tour event he wanted to play this season.

And play he has. In total, Kim has teed it up in 20 Tour events in 2024, including a ridiculous stretch of nine-straight weeks dating from the CJ Cup in early May all the way to the Rocket Mortgage Classic, which ended June 30th.

Kim’s initial absence from the field was even stranger given the fact that he has excelled at the Genesis Scottish Open, finishing 6th last year and 3rd in 2022.

On Wednesday, Kim sat down for his pre-tournament press conference, and he added a small dose of clarity to the situation. According to Kim, it all comes down to an accidental missed deadline, presumably to officially commit to play the Scottish Open, which he ultimately blamed on his “team.”

“Yeah, obviously there was a mix-up on my team’s end. I just with deadlines and stuff with two tours, it sometimes gets confusing,” Kim shared on Wednesday. “I only found out about it earlier the day before when I got a call from the team saying, ‘Hey, we messed up on our end. We are not trying to do anything weird but we messed up.'”

Kim then tried to quiet any criticisms that he had intentionally delayed committing to the tournament, before again pointing the finger at his team.

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“Obviously I love coming out here. I would never do anything remotely weird to just flirt with the tournaments,” Kim said. “It was a complete mistake on the people who help me.”

As for his mind-bending nine-week stretch of competitive golf he just endured, Kim explained that it was an attempt to capitalize on improvements to his game he made before the Players Championship.

“After the Players, really, I really thought about, man, I’m playing good. My swing is in a good place. I just need my competitiveness to match up, and the nine weeks definitely I think was called for,” Kim explained. “I did everything I could to play nine weeks because I knew it was going to be a long stretch but the amount things I picked up from the nine-week stretch, I’d do that again next year if I had to. It was just — definitely wasn’t a panic. Just it was meant to be and it was the right call.”

Kim, who earned his best finish of the year with a runner-up at the Travelers Championship, tees off for Round 1 of the Genesis Scottish Open on Thursday at 3:17 a.m. ET.

Kevin Cunningham

Kevin Cunningham Editor

As managing producer for, Cunningham edits, writes and publishes stories on, and manages the brand’s e-newsletters, which reach more than 1.4 million subscribers each month. A former two-time intern, he also helps keep humming outside the news-breaking stories and service content provided by our reporters and writers, and works with the tech team in the development of new products and innovative ways to deliver an engaging site to our audience.

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