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Interview with golf sensation Kim Joo-hyung

Posted December. 20, 2019 07:42,   

Updated December. 20, 2019 07:42


Rising star golfer Kim Joo-hyung put on a broad smile. After making a splash in the Asian Tours, Kim recently came back to Korea, holding the limelight as a next-generation icon to lead Korean golf, signing a sponsorship with Titleist for apparel, golf clubs, and balls. Making impressive records throughout the Asian Tours (One win, three Top 10s, Three wins in second-tier tour), Kim’s professional status made a meteoric rise from 2,006th last year to 158th in world ranking over the span of less than a year.

Kim became the second youngest golfer to have won the title of Asian Tours this season by winning the Panasonic Open India 2019, his third outing in first-tier tour. The 17-year-old recounted the moment of grabbing his first win, saying he shed tears as the memories of years of practicing rushed back.

Born in Seoul, Kim Joo-hyung lived in various countries including China, Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand, with his golf-teaching father and his mother who runs restaurants. “I’ve played golf along with my father ever since I was six,” the Korean golf rookie said. “At 11, I decided to become a pro as I wanted to become like my hero Tiger Woods.”

Currently living in Thailand, Kim made his professional debut in June last year through Asian Tours. Players aged 16 or more can take part in Asian Tours while the KPGA allows those older than 17 or more to enter as professional player.

“I chose Asian Tours as I’ve watched the game in person since I was a little boy, and as I wanted to experience the pro level as soon as possible,” said Kim. “I want to move onto the PGA Tour straight from Asia. My goal is to reach the final stage of the PGA second-tier qualifying tournament by making the top 100 list next year.”

Yun-Cheol Jeong trigger@donga.com