Tom Kim dishes truth behind Genesis Invitational tee time controversy

Tom Kim was almost late to his 8 a.m. tee time with Rickie Fowler Sunday at the Genesis Invitational. The PGA Tour captured a video of him running through the crowds to the first tee, and it sparked so hilarious comments about why he was late on social media.

One of the more common threads was about In-and-Out wreaking havoc again, as many thought it led to Tiger Woods withdrawal.

But as it turned out, it was something quite simple that almost caused him to get penalized, per the PGA Tour.

Kim was on the putting green and had plenty of time before going to the tee. However, he and his caddie, Paul Tesori, started talking to fellow players, and in the blink of an eye, they had 60 seconds to get there.

“I was on the part of the green that was farthest away,” Kim said. “If I’m not there when we’re announced, it’s a two-shot penalty, and I shoot even par today instead of 2 under. I made sure I wasn’t late, and literally 10, 15 seconds later he called the tee. I was fortunate. I’m never late for tee times.”

Kim posted a 2-under 69 Sunday to finish at 5-under for the tournament.

The practice greens at Riviera Country Club wrap around the clubhouse, and of course, he was on the one the furthest away from the first tee. Nonetheless, Kim made it on time with just seconds to spare.

Usually, he has too much time before he needs to tee off, but that wasn’t the case last week.

“I’m always too early,” he said. “But we were so engaged in our conversation. I’d had a tough finish yesterday, and we were talking about what we could have done better. I’m sure Rickie [Fowler] was like, ‘Hmm, I wonder why Tom isn’t here?’”

Kim will never forget almost missing his tee time, and thankfully, his elevated heart rate didn’t derail him entirely. He finished the day with five birdies and three bogeys. His best finish was a T17 in five starts this season in Phoenix at the WM Phoenix.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.

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