There are comfortable pairings and then there’s what happened in round one at the Shriners Children’s Open. Si-Woo Kim and Tom Kim, fresh off their spirited play as Presidents Cup partners, teed it up together at TPC Summerlin. And although their grouping this time didn’t feature as many fist pumps, they seemed to produce just as many birdies as they did at Quail Hollow a couple weeks ago.
Si-Woo Kim shot an opening seven-under 64 to nip his fellow South Korean by one shot as both played their way near the top of the leaderboard on Day 1 in Las Vegas. Not surprisingly, they were still feeling those North Carolina vibes.
“We still talk about the Presidents Cup, like some holes,” said Si-Woo Kim, who led the Internationals with 3 points and currently trails leader Tom Hoge by one shot. “Then I finish the hole, and Tom came over on 18 and I said, if you make that one, I got to ask you to go throw the hat like the last hole Saturday.”
Overall, Tom Kim said there wasn’t much talk about what happened at Quail Hollow among the two golfers and the third player in the group, Max Homa. The American got off to a hot start at four under through seven, before shooting 67. Homa defeated Kim in Sunday singles as the Americans beat the Internationals 17½ to 12½ in the biennial event.
“No, not much,” Kim said of the Presidents Cup chatter, “but it was fun because obviously I had my partner with me, my Saturday afternoon partner, and obviously playing with Max on Sunday. So it was—we had so much fun.”
Kim certainly had a better time today than last year at this event when he came to Vegas but didn’t have the PGA Tour status to play. Now the 20-year-old has his card locked up for these next two seasons thanks to winning the Wyndham Championship in August. Playing the back nine first, Kim got off to a slow start, but fed off his playing partners.
“When your group kind of plays well, it’s just kind of like it helps you play—it gives you momentum when you don’t really have some,” said Kim, who fared well for his first full round at TPC Summerlin. “I feel like just being one under through my first six, five holes, I was losing a little pace, but made a really good birdie on 17. Obviously our group played really well today. So definitely, being kind of close to those guys, it was definitely a fun round.”
The best part? The Presidents Cup gang will all be there again together on day two.