Tom Kim slumps to WORST putting display of his career at Sony Open on PGA Tour

Tom Kim showed he is human in the first round of the Sony Open on Thursday, losing almost five shots on the greens and falling to tied 115th in the leaderboard.

Matt Chivers's picture
Fri, 13 Jan 2023
Tom Kim slumps to WORST putting display of his career at Sony Open on PGA Tour

When you think of Tom Kim, you think of low scores, fist-pumping celebrations and just brilliant golf all around. But in the first round of the Sony Open, we saw something completely different from the talented 20-year-old.

Kim shot a 2-over 72, which is no disaster and a solid second round in Honolulu could get him back on track, but it was his display on the greens that surprised us the most.

As Rick Gehman pointed out on Twitter, Kim lost 4.99 strokes in putting at Waialae Country Club. This is statistically his worst display with the short stick in his PGA Tour career.

Gehman went on to report that there have only been seven putting rounds worse than Kim's this season so far. Unfortunately for Ben Martin, he currently holds the unwanted accolade of the worst putting round which he notched up at the Fortinet Championship.

Kim, who has already won the Shriners Children's Open this season, entered this week as one of the favourites and one of the highest-ranked players in the field.

He, Jordan Spieth and defending champion Hideki Matsuyama headlined the entries for the tournament which begins a run of four events until the next Elevated Event on the revamped schedule.

Kim came tied for fifth last week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, but interestingly, his putting was the only department of his game that wasn't in the positive section of the strokes gained column in Maui.

This data foreshadows his 2022/2023 season so far. He is ranked in the top 10 of strokes gained from tee to green and approaching the green, but he is ranked 46th in strokes gained in putting.

His driving accuracy is over 70% and so is his greens in regulation mark too, but perhaps his first-round performance on Thursday showed a small gap that exists in his game.

We should note that no debutant at the Sony Open has won the event since Russell Henley in 2013, so perhaps a first-timer like Kim needs some extra experience on the greens at Waialae to find his range.