The Korea Herald


S. Korean teenager to make long-awaited PGA Tour debut

By 김정보

Published : July 2, 2013 - 09:36

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South Korean teenager Kim Si-woo will make his long-awaited PGA Tour debut this week, having recently met the minimum age requirement to earn a full membership on the prestigious circuit.

Last December, Kim became the youngest golfer to survive the notoriously difficult PGA Tour qualifying tournament, commonly known as the Q-School, at 17 years, five months and six days. Under the tour rule, however, he couldn't become a full-fledged member until his 18th birthday.

Kim turned 18 last Friday and will enter this week's Greenbrier Classic at the Old White TPC in West Virginia for his first event as a PGA Tour member.

As a non-member, Kim could have played up to 12 events, including a maximum seven on sponsors' exemptions. He first appeared at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February but missed the cut there. Kim then played at the Puerto Rico Open in March, but withdrew with back pains after shooting a 7-over 79 in the first round.

Kim has previously said his goal for his rookie season is to retain his PGA Tour card for 2014. He would have to win a tournament or rank inside the top 125 on the money list at the season's end to do so, but Kim will have a much smaller window than others because of his late start.

So far, 27 events have been played on the tour, with 13 tournaments left, including the Greenbrier Classic. Most of the remaining events, however, are major championships or PGA Tour playoff events, for which Kim likely won't qualify.

This week in West Virginia, Kim will go up against former major champions Phil Mickelson, Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson and Trevor Immelman, among others.

Among other South Koreans in the field will be Choi Kyoung-ju, Charlie Wi and Lee Dong-hwan. (Yonhap News)