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Shriners notebook: Tom Kim stays grounded amid growing hoopla

Updated October 6, 2022 - 6:35 pm

Tom Kim has burst onto the pro golf scene over the past few months, and rightfully so. Just 20 years old, he won the Wyndham Championship in early August to earn his PGA Tour card, then starred as both a player and personality at the Presidents Cup last month.

Kim, however, doesn’t think his life has changed all that much.

“A lot of people have been telling me that ‘hey, you’re such a star now,’ things like that, but I feel like really, am I that big of a star?” he asked. “I played the Presidents Cup, it’s great. I had one win. But you’ve got guys like Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and those guys. I’ve still got a lot to do.”

Kim, who put himself in contention at the Shriners Children’s Open with an opening-round 65, looks to his golf idol as inspiration to remain grounded.

“The situation hasn’t really changed who I am,” he said. “Tiger (Woods) has 82 wins on the PGA Tour. Until I get to 83, it’s going to be hard for me to think a little different.”

Ryder’s viral moment

Sam Ryder had one of golf’s most memorable moments of 2022 when he aced the 17th hole at TPC Scottsdale during the third round of the Phoenix Open, leading to a shower of beer and water from the thousands of fans that surround one of the most famous holes in golf.

It’s a shot that went viral on social media with millions of views in its various postings on YouTube.

Ryder, who finds himself on the leaderboard at the Shriners after an opening round 65, said he isn’t sick of talking about the moment.

“It was special, so it’s something that people like to talk about and ask me about,” Ryder said. “Frankly, I’m not sick of it. It’s just really good memories and nothing negative surrounding it. It’s always fun to relive it.”

Ryder said he hasn’t watched the video often, but that’s something that might change.

“I probably should,” he said. “It’s kind of is something that would be good for my psyche.”

Answering the call

Tano Goya came to TPC Summerlin on Thursday morning hoping he might find a spot in the field as the first alternate. His wish came true when Peter Malnati withdrew.

Goya had only two minutes to get to the 10th tee for the 7:02 a.m. tee time. “I didn’t have time to have breakfast, didn’t have time to put my shoes on,” Goya said. “I hit the first tee shot with my trainers. It was funny, no practice at all or anything.”

The PGA Tour rookie answered the bell, making birdie on three of his first eight holes. He ultimately finished with a 68, putting him in the top half of the leaderboard.

“To be honest, I was just happy to be there, happy to play,” he said.

Second alternate Kevin Roy also got into the field in the afternoon after Matt Kuchar withdrew with a knee injury.

Pain free — for now

Former world No. 1 Jason Day’s fall from the top of the game can be traced to a series of back and neck issues that have plagued the 12-time winner for most of the past five years. But Day says, fingers crossed, the issues may finally be behind him.

“I feel like — I feel fine,” Day said after an opening-round 66 on Thursday. “I honestly don’t feel like I’ve got an injury right now. I’ve been doing two, three hours of body work a day and stay on top of that, then I should be good.”

Eagle has landed

Taylor Montgomery’s eagle putt on the ninth hole Thursday was one for the record books. The Las Vegas golfer dropped a putt from 69 feet, 5 inches, making it the longest made putt on the PGA Tour this season.

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. He can be reached at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

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