What kind of guy is Tom Kim? Will Zalatoris has a story

Tom Kim smiles at the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions in Maui.

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The legend of Tom Kim continues to grow.

What started with his on-course prowess has continued to evolve into heart-warming accounts of Kim’s good character.

There was his infectious enthusiasm that stole the show at the Presidents Cup, his charmingly earnest question to Rory McIlroy, and most recently, an account of a Christmas spent with the Spieths, which included his gushing review of spending time with the Spieths’ son, Sammy.

Now, Will Zalatoris is adding his take.

After firing a second-consecutive round of 69 on Friday in Maui, Zalatoris was asked about the blossoming friendship between Spieth and Kim, and Zalatoris said that Kim recently joined Dallas National, a Texas club where Zalatoris is a member. Zalatoris said he wrote Kim a letter of recommendation.

Tom Kim gets in work on the putting green during the Sentry Tournament of Champions on The Plantation Course at Kapalua on Tuesday.
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“They said, Well, you know, what’s he like?” Zalatrois said. “And I said, Well, this pretty much sums it up. When I went and watched the first day of the Presidents Cup, it was like the fourth hole. I was trying to stay out of everybody’s way, even though I was inside the ropes, and K.H. Lee was hitting a shot, and Tom came 40 yards off the tee to come over and say hi and check in on me, and I’m like, Dude, you’re playing in the Presidents Cup. You don’t need to say hi to me.

“So that pretty much sums him up,” Zalatoris continued. “He’s so good for us. He’s such a great dude, and I look forward to playing some games with him at home.”

So what else did Zalatoris include in his letter?

“Literally, it was like two sentences,” Zalatoris said. “Like, he needs to be here. He’s the best. We need to have him.

“Like I said, he’s so fun to be around. He’s a guy that I feel like I’ve known forever.”

Zalatoris said he and Kim have yet to play together, but now that they share the same home course, rounds are definitely in the future.

“Obviously the guy rolls the crap out of it,” Zalatoris said. “What he did at Wyndham, I think he, what did he shoot, like 27, 28 on the front and made like 150 feet of putts. We saw it at the Presidents Cup too. So the guy’s got no flaws. That’s for sure.”

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As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.