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The Loop

Introducing Si Woo Kim, golf's latest phenom

January 26, 2016

The accomplishments of Jordan Spieth and Lydia Ko have set the bar for being a phenom in golf higher than ever before. In 2015, Spieth won two majors before turning 22, and Ko became the youngest golfer (17) to both win a major and become No. 1 in the world. But there are plenty of other young golfers turning heads, and one, Si Woo Kim, could be on the cusp of going from promising up-and-comer to full-blown star.

Like Ko, Kim achieved a remarkable accomplishment at 17, earning his PGA Tour card through Q school in 2012. Why didn't you hear more about it? Probably because the South Korean was too young to earn his PGA Tour card and wasn't able to play full time until after his 18th birthday at the end of June in 2013. As a result, Kim spent the majority of the next three seasons on the Tour, breaking through with a win at the 2015 Stonebrae Classic.

What's the big deal about winning one Tour event? At 20 years and 21 days, Kim became the second-youngest winner on the developmental tour. The youngest? Jason Day at 19 years and seven months at the 2007 Legend Financial Group Classic.

OK, but what has Kim done lately? Well, in his first full season on the PGA Tour he's recorded five top-25 finishes in seven starts. And after back-to-back top 10s at the Sony Open (solo 4th) and the CareerBuilders Challenge (T-9), Kim is currently 17th in the FedEx Cup standings. A top-20 player on tour at 20? That's Spieth-esque.

Kim has shot 68 or lower in nine of his last 10 rounds, and he's in the field this week at Torrey Pines, which he happens to list as his favorite course he's ever played in his PGA Tour media guide bio. You've been warned. . .