Tom Kim and Jordan Spieth shared a tee time on Thursday at the Plantation Course at Kapalua for the first round of the 2023 Tournament of Champions. Signing for rounds of 8-under 65 and 6-under 67, respectively, the two also shared Christmas dinner the previous week — with Kim also acting as babysitter for Spieth’s 14-month-old son, Sammy.
“The more time I spent with Jordan [Spieth], we kind of became closer friends. I think we shared a plane back from the Hero back to Dallas, so I took the Jordan air,” said Kim, who was still finding his bearings in the U.S. “He was really nice enough to invite me for Christmas. My family wasn’t home and I was kind of by myself. So I got to spend some time with the Spieths and kind of babysit Sammy, which was really cool. It’s been amazing to kind of build a friendship and it was really cool to play with him today.”
After winning twice in a four-tournament stretch on the PGA Tour and starring for the International Team in the 2022 Presidents Cup, Kim spent his short offseason in South Korea to reconnect with family. Overseas for four weeks, he returned to his new base camp in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Kim, who is still only 20 years of age, is the newest addition to the crop of PGA Tour stars who call the Dallas-Fort Worth area home. Joining not only Spieth, but Scottie Scheffler, Will Zalatoris and a number of his fellow South Koreans in the Lone Star State, Kim has surrounded himself with some of the best players in the world both on and off the golf course.
“Tom, actually during the Christmas break, he joined Jordan and his family for Christmas dinner,” said Smylie Kaufman, NBC’s on-course analyst and Spieth’s good friend. “So, these two have actually formed a relationship over the last couple of months, and they’re having a blast out here today.
“Tom is a noted guy who likes to eat some food,” Kaufman continued. “I was told he went back for, not only thirds, but fourths at Christmas dinner.”