Golf

Tom Kim's Search for Ball at PGA Championship Turns Into Hilarious (and Muddy) Mess

Tom Kim went looking for his ball and emerged as a viral sensation

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The best highlight from Thursday's opening round of the 2023 PGA Championship wasn't an ace or a long putt.

Rather, it was a golfer looking for his ball.

On the sixth hole at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York, Tom Kim hit a tee shot into a muddy area with high weeds. The 20-year-old went looking for the ball in hopes of being able to chip it out.

But Kim's search quickly turned into an absolute mess. Literally.

Kim removed his socks and shoes and rolled up his pants before immersing himself waist-deep in mud. After eventually bailing on the mission, Kim emerged from the hazard with his lower body and forearms covered in mud.

"As soon as I went in, it was kind of [sketchy]," Kim told ESPN. "But I was like, 'It's a major championship. I'm fighting for every single stroke I have.' And then, it got dark.

"Once my foot got in I was like, 'There's no looking back.' And I went full in, and [the mud] got my shirt and everything. There was one point where I just sunk in. I was steady for a minute. I couldn't get myself out. So I called [my caddie, Joe Skovron,] and he was saying, 'Well if I go in, I sink. Then both of us aren't getting out.' So I had to crawl and use every part of my body to get out. I've had better days."

Now a muddy mess, Kim then went over to a creek to wash off his arms and legs. He also took off his shirt and put on a mud-less jacket.

"I mean, it couldn't get any worse. I was wet enough so I thought I might as well just go in the water and wash myself off," Kim said.

Despite all that effort, Kim was unable to find his ball and recorded a bogey on the hole. He did, however, rebound with three straight pars to finish Round 1 3-over 73.

After his round, the South Korean golfer had a great reaction to finding out he had gone viral for the mud and creek baths.

"I hope everyone at home understands it's a major championship, I'm trying to play the best I can and every shot matters," Kim said. "I definitely went full in but it didn't really help. I didn't find my ball and I went through all that. But it was a great experience."

Kim certainly proved that every shot truly does matter to him.

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