It’s not how you start, but how you end that ultimately defines a champion. Truer words couldn’t be said about Joohyung Kim and his performance at the 2022 Wyndham Championship. PGA Tour in convincing fashion after a 9-under final round of 61.
Starting his tournament at Sedgefield Country Club with a quadruple bogey on the very first hole, the South Korean quickly found himself 13 shots off the pace set by first-round leader John Huh. The panic, unease and discomfort could have easily set in, but instead Kim clawed her way back while showing the mental toughness of a golfer twice her age. Eventually signing for a 3-under 67, Kim added rounds 64 and 68 before going absolutely nuclear on Sunday.
Starting the day two shots off Sungjae Im’s head, Kim was locked in from the start. Birding three straight from the numbers 2-4, Kim catapulted himself to the top of the leaderboard with an eagle on the par-5 fifth before tacking on three more birdies on his inside half. He only needed 27 shots on his front nine as he shot 8 under, and in the process recorded the second-lowest nine-hole score in PGA Tour history.
From there, Kim was on cruise control en route to making history as he became the second-youngest PGA Tour winner since World War II; Jordan Spieth was 19 when he won the John Deere Classic. Kim also became the first non-member to win since Collin Morikawa at the 2019 Barracuda Championship and the first man born in the 2000s to win on the PGA Tour.
While he secured his PGA Tour status for the 2022-23 season, his only path to this season’s FedEx Cup playoffs was a win. With that, he moved up to 34th in the FedEx Cup standings and now has a fantastic opportunity to play himself in the Tour Championship where the top 30 players will qualify.
As if this month wasn’t life changing enough, Kim’s upward trajectory is only set to continue as he is to be considered a lock for the 2022 Presidents Cup next month at Quail Hollow Club. With captain Trevor Immelman looking for players to complete his international squad, Kim will be top of the list if he doesn’t qualify on his own merits.
All of this in the space of a few weeks, and all of this at the ripe old age of 20. The influx of young talent into the game of golf is oft-repeated and with Kim the dialogue will be the same, but that doesn’t make what he’s achieved no less amazing. He’s a man – some would say a child – who should be in college, passing his economics class and getting turned down from bars. Instead, he’s a PGA Tour winner with a future as bright as a star. Rating: A+
Here are the ratings of the rest of the notables at the 2022 Wyndham Championship.
2. Sungjae Im (-16): He was the betting favorite after every round, but Im was simply passed by his compatriot on Sunday. The 24-year-old had his moments as he drilled for the eagle on the par-5 fifth to stay in contact with the lead, but had some inexplicable misfires on the greens. With two wayward putts from inside 5 feet coming on his front nine, he entered the inside half needing to play perfect golf. Although Im didn’t make it in the end, he made it into the top 10 in the FedEx Cup standings for the regular season, which comes with a good salary. Rating: A
T5. Max McGreevy(-13): Despite the buildup and added pressure, there are usually only two or three players who end up playing in the top 125 of the Wyndham Championship themselves. That player this week was McGreevy, as he entered week No. 126 and more than rose to the occasion. It’s actually a wonder the PGA Tour rookie has even been in this position, as his debut regular season campaign saw him miss the cut in 18 of 27 starts. Still, it’s what you’re able to do with those weekend appearances that counts and McGreevy has proven that a few good outings can really make your season.
“I think my goal was just to play good golf,” McGreevy said. “I wasn’t trying to get a certain number of points or finish in the top 30 or anything like that. I haven’t played good golf in a long time, so I was just trying to play good golf, and I thought it could take care of itself. It was good to do four good laps together, that’s for sure. Rating: A+
T13. Davis Riley (-11): He was hit by a freight train – pun intended – and because of it, Riley was unable to pick up a victory in his first regular season on the PGA Tour. Still, he’s well into the top 30 of the FedEx Cup standings and should he play in the Tour Championship himself while enjoying major championship exemptions and plenty of riches along the way. It’s been a great year for the Mississippi native as he has faced some consistency and should only continue to improve with that experience. Category B
T21. Will Zalatoris (-9): Expectations were high for Zalatoris this week as he needed a strong performance to crack the Comcast Business TOUR Top 10. Unable to do so, the former Wake Forest Deacon not only missed a big payday, but also left Greensboro without his typical bag man by his side. Parting ways with his caddy after the second round, Zalatoris then signed for rounds 66-68 over the weekend. He’s still looking for his first PGA Tour win and maybe, just maybe, adding a different voice in his ear will be what finally gets him into the game. circle of winners.
“I’ve done good things and I’ve done really bad things,” Zalatoris said. “The good is there, you just have to clean up the bad. I’ve played good golf this year, obviously, and these next three weeks are obviously what I’m preparing for. So I have to take some pride in the last three. rounds and continue until next week on a golf course that I love.” Category B-