Earlier this year, Tom Kim didn’t get a chance to defend his title at the Wyndham Championship thanks to a nagging ankle injury he suffered the week of the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
This week, Kim said how much that bugged him. He spoke about how important it was to put on a good show this week in his first title defense. Well, Kim was spectacular, especially on the weekend.
Although it wasn’t as flawless the second time around, Kim defended his title, winning the 2023 Shriners Children’s Open on Sunday at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas. The 21-year-old from South Korea shot 5-under 66 in the final round to seal his third PGA Tour victory.
Last year, when Kim won for the second time in only two months at 20 years old, he did so with a bogey-free performance. This week, there were seven bogeys and a double, but he offset those blunders with 27 birdies and an eagle, finishing at 20-under 264. He also shot 62 in the third round, matching his score from 2022 the same round.
Adam Hadwin, who played alongside Kim in the final pairing, hit a birdie putt on the closing hole to finish solo second. There was a big pack at T-3 and 18 under, including Rookie of the Year candidate Eric Cole, who shot 9-under 62 on Sunday. Alex Noren, J.T. Poston and Taylor Pendrith also finished two behind Kim.
Ludvig Aberg, the young sensation from Sweden, matched Cole with a 9-under performance in the final round and finished at 16 under and T-13.