Four years ago became the youngest-ever winner on the DP World Tour and Challenge Tour, taking the D+D Real Czech Challenge aged 17 years and 64 days – 124 days younger than Matteo Manassero was at the 2010 Castello Masters on the main circuit.
Now he will make his Open Championship debut after capturing June’s Kolon Korea Open by beating compatriot Mingyu Cho in a three-hole play-off. Cho also qualified for St Andrews with two spots being offered as part of The Open Qualifying Series. It was Kim’s first professional victory on home soil and came with a 10-foot birdie putt.
He went into the event ranked 362nd in the world and would have missed out on the win if Hyungjoon Lee had parred the last hole, but he went out of bounds and double-bogeyed.
Twice a winner on the EuroPro Tour in 2017, he then posted four runner-up finishes on his home circuit, the last of them in May. He also had a third place finish in the SK Telecom Open three weeks before his dramatic success. “I’ve come close before and wondered if I would ever win,” he said. “But my golf is just beginning.”