S. Korean player at Masters inspired by countryman

유지호 / 기사승인 : 2021-04-06 10:46:00
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Masters-S Korean player
▲ In this Associated Press photo, Kim Si-woo of South Korea tees off on the 14th hole during the final round of the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio's Oaks Course in San Antonio, Texas, on April 4, 2021. (Yonhap)

▲ In this Associated Press file photo from Jan. 24, 2021, Kim Si-woo of South Korea hoists the champion's trophy after winning the American Express tournament on the Stadium Course at PGA West in La Quinta, California. (Yonhap)

Masters-S Korean player

S. Korean player at Masters inspired by countryman

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- When three-time PGA Tour winner Kim Si-woo needs a source of motivation, he doesn't have to look too far away.

Kim has his compatriot Im Sung-jae providing inspiration.

"Watching Sung-jae win and grow into a world-class player really motivates me," Kim said at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, on Monday (local time), where he's preparing for the Masters.

"I think we push each other to keep getting better and playing harder," Kim added.

Kim, 25, joined the PGA Tour in 2016 and has won three times, most recently in January this year. Im, the 2018-2019 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, has one victory to his name at age 23. Im made serious noise at last year's Masters with a runner-up finish, his best performance at a major.

Kim recalled that he first met Im at a junior tournament about 10 years ago and said, "Even then, he played with so much composure and hit the ball really well."

"He has done really well the last couple of years, and it's great to see that as a fellow player on the tour," Kim added. "Seeing Korean names up on the leaderboard makes me feel really proud and it pushes me, too."

Kim will be making his fourth appearance at the Masters. He missed the cut in his debut in 2017, and has finished tied for 24th, tied for 21st and tied for 34th since then.

"In my first year here, I was so nervous that I couldn't play the way I wanted to play," Kim said. "With more experience, I've played better, and I think the course suits my game. It's an honor just to be here because it's the greatest tournament there is."

(END)

(C) Yonhap News Agency. All Rights Reserved

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