Tom Kim Retains Shriners Children’s Open Title with Dramatic Victory
After an exhilarating title defense in the vibrant city of Las Vegas, Tom Kim celebrated his victory by indulging in one of life’s simple pleasures – chocolate. The 21-year-old South Korean golf sensation emerged triumphant in a thrilling final round showdown against Adam Hadwin at TPC Summerlin, securing a narrow one-stroke win to retain the prestigious Shriners Children’s Open on Sunday.
In what can only be described as a display of sheer brilliance, Kim shot an astonishing nine-under 62 on Saturday. With nerves of steel and unwavering focus, he followed it up with a solid final round score of 66, clinching the winner’s prize worth $1.512 million.
This remarkable achievement not only marks Kim as the first golfer since Jim Furyk in 1999 to successfully defend the Shriners Children’s Open title but also makes him the youngest player to secure three PGA Tour titles since Tiger Woods.
Unlike many who revel in the glitz and glamour that Las Vegas has to offer, Kim chose solitude over extravagance. Opting for tranquility just minutes away from the course rather than venturing into the bustling Strip, he savored each bite of a delectable white chocolate Ferrero Rocher imported all-the-way from Europe while enjoying room service comforts before catching an early morning flight home.
“I’m not someone who seeks out flashy experiences,” shared Kim during interviews with reporters. “In Vegas, I prefer staying close to the course where it’s peaceful and serene. My bond with Summerlin is strong, especially after back-to-back wins here. Hopefully, the course will continue to be kind to me in the future.”
With this triumph, Kim’s world ranking has soared five spots to a career-high No. 11 position, solidifying his status as one of golf’s brightest young stars. Since turning professional in 2018, he has experienced meteoric success and added impressive performances at major tournaments to his growing list of accomplishments.
Prior to this season, Kim had never finished inside the top-20 at a major championship. However, he broke that pattern by securing a tied-16th place finish at The Masters followed by an improved tied-eighth performance at the US Open. His exceptional run culminated with a joint-runner up position behind Brian Harman at the highly acclaimed Open Championship in July.
This remarkable journey has further cemented Tom Kim’s standing among golf’s most promising talents – an achievement rendered even more significant due to its connection with Shriners Children’s hospitals.
“The fact that this tournament is sponsored by Shriners Children’s makes it all the more special,” expressed a grateful Kim. “Given my age of 21, I feel a certain kinship with these young kids who are even younger than me. If I can inspire just one child through my achievements on the course, it would mean everything to me. They have inspired me tremendously throughout this week and I am thrilled that I get to hold onto this trophy for another year.”
Meanwhile, Adam Hadwin endured heartbreak on Sunday as he came tantalizingly close to claiming his second PGA Tour victory but faltered during crucial moments of the final round – particularly at hole sixteen where his approach shot found water hazards.
The experienced golfer managed damage control with a bogey, but with Kim flawlessly navigating the back-nine, not even a closing birdie could bridge the gap between Hadwin and the resolute South Korean.
“I completely misjudged it – a terrible swing at the worst possible time,” confessed a disappointed Hadwin. “Tom is incredibly consistent… hitting fairways and greens consistently without losing his rhythm or pace. Even if he had shot five-under today, it would have been difficult to surpass him. I knew I needed an exceptional round to challenge him for victory.”
As Tom Kim basks in the glory of his remarkable feat at Shriners Children’s Open, golf enthusiasts worldwide eagerly anticipate witnessing this gifted young golfer’s continued rise on the professional circuit.