How Tiger Woods inspired Tom Kim’s epic Presidents Cup celebration
The Internationals didn’t win the Presidents Cup, but Tom Kim was the darling of the golf world last week at Quail Hollow Club. The 20-year-old South Korean brought flair and a much-needed energy boost to the underdog Internationals, and he also played some pretty good golf in the process.
Kim finished 2-3, picking up both of his wins on Saturday over the world’s first-, fourth-, fifth- and 12th-ranked players. Decent week at the office, right?
His signature moment came on Saturday afternoon, when he rolled in a 10-footer for birdie on the 18th hole for a walk-off win in the fourballs session.
“I was already thinking in the back of my mind, ‘If this goes in, what am I going to do? How am I going to celebrate?'” Kim said. “That’s if it goes in, right? I did stay in the moment, but that was definitely on my mind.”
Turns out, he channeled Tiger Woods with his animated reaction.
Kim joined this week’s GOLF Subpar Podcast to break down his whirlwind Presidents Cup debut and told co-hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz that the celebration on that match-winning putt was an homage to Woods.
Kim met Woods for the first time at the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, which was also Kim’s first major even though he hadn’t played a PGA Tour event yet. He asked Woods for a picture with him.
“It’s crazy how being a fanboy to playing on the same stage as these guys, I can’t really put it into words,” Kim said.
So when Kim, who teamed up with Si Woo Kim in the match, lined up his putt on the 18th hole on Saturday afternoon to beat Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, he was already thinking about Woods. Back in 2008, when Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational for the fifth time in his career, he sunk a birdie putt on the 18th and threw his hat on the ground in exuberation.
“And that’s exactly what I wanted to do,” Kim said.
“I knew it was going to go in,” Kim said. “It was such a good line. It had three cups of break. I’m not gonna lie, it had a lot of break to it. I really felt confident with the putter. I missed a couple putts on the high side with a lot of speed and I just knew if I had the right speed — just looking down at the line I was like, ‘This is it. I was born for this. I’m going to make this and let the U.S. team know I’m here to win, I want my teammates to know I’m here to win.’ I wanted to bring them up. It was just perfect.”
You can listen to Kim’s full Subpar interview below, in which he discusses his path to the PGA Tour, his week at Quail Hollow, the Presidents Cup afterparty and more.