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16-year-old (!) Kris Kim pitches in for eagle on final hole during impressive PGA Tour debut

May 03, 2024

Mike Mulholland

Kris Kim became the latest teen to make his PGA Tour debut at the CJ Cup Byron Nelson on Thursday. And his solid start included a dream finish that has him thinking about a weekend tee time.

Kim, a 16-year-old amateur from England, was one under par when he reached his final hole of the day, the par-5 ninth at TPC Ranch. After two good shots, he pitched in from 30 yards for a closing eagle to shoot an opening 68.

"I would say it was pretty good," Kim said of his opening round. "Conditions out there were pretty easy today, especially with the greens having a bit of rain. But, yeah, I would say 3-under I would definitely take."

Have a look at the eagle on nine, one of two chip-ins on the day for Kim:

"Yeah, I would say short game is my strength," Kim said, "but just got lucky a bit today."

He seems as modest as he is talented! Kim's start comes on the heels of 15-year-old Miles Russell making history by becoming the youngest player to make a Korn Ferry Tour cut a couple weeks ago. Russell and Kim faced off against each other in last year's Junior Ryder Cup, where Kim topped the current top-ranked junior golfer in the world 5-and-4 in their singles match:

But as mentioned, Kim isn't the first teen phenom to make a splash at this event. Back in 2010, a 16-year-old Jordan Spieth played his way into contention heading into the final round before finishing T-16. And four years later, it was 17-year-old Scottie Scheffler's turn to make his PGA Tour debut, finishing T-22 in the event.

If he makes it to the weekend, Kim would become the fifth-youngest player to make the cut in a PGA Tour event. The youngest was 14-year-old Tianlang Guan at the 2013 Masters and Zurich Classic.

"I like it," Kim said of playing in front of big crowds. "Especially when you hit a good shot and everyone is clapping. Just makes it everything better."