‘I Didn’t Want To Get Myself Dirty’ - Tom Kim Explains Bold Fashion At FedEx St Jude Championship

Tom Kim had a very different look at the FedEx St. Jude Championship but it didn't get in the way of his golf

Tom Kim
Tom Kim and his unique look
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tom Kim has already had one wardrobe malfunction and he wasn't going to let it happen again in the first round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship.

Back in May, in the opening round of the PGA Championship at Oak Hill, the Korean fell over in a creek before emerging covered in mud from his thighs down. He would have to dispense with his shirt and play the last few holes with his trousers rolled up.

And he was at it again at TPC Southwind during a brilliant opening 64 which put him in second spot behind Jordan Spieth. The course was hit with storms and rain on Wednesday and Thursday and this led to the 21-year-old making a fashion statement that brought social media to its knees (pun intended) with Kim hitching his trousers up to show a bit of ankle in a fairly bizarre, if common sense, look.

"I think a lot of people are actually having fun out of it, way more than I thought. It was just, I didn't want to get myself dirty. Just don't like it. I've had a really bad week once this year, so just trying to stay away from it really," explained Kim.

"It was just kind of how I did it back in the old days. I didn't have unlimited pants so I had to make sure I was able to use those pants for a really long time, so I had to make sure they stayed really clean. A lot of people seemed to have a lot of laughs on it, but I just thought it was pretty convenient. I like to just keep it simple really, like I didn't bring 10 pairs of pants. I'm traveling for a few weeks, so I try to make my travel pretty light.

"Definitely not white tomorrow, that's for sure. I chose the wrong colour, obviously, for the day, but my caddie Joe actually said he doesn't really care what I do as long as I make birdies and eagles, so it kind of worked."

In total there were seven birdies before he signed off at the 9th and, before his post-round media duties would begin, Kim would make another change of outfit.

"Even though I folded it up, they were still so wet that it still got really dirty. The first thing on my mind after 9, I was ready to leave and change. That was the first thing on my mind. As soon as I went in, I had media requests, I said, can I change, and I feel kind of clean."

Kim's last outing came at Royal Liverpool where he finished in a remarkable share of second despite nursing a Grade 1 ankle tear and he is still taking things lightly to avoid any further mishaps – he had to miss his first PGA Tour title defence at the Wyndham due to the injury.

"It's been a lot of rehab. It's been boring. I'm not going to lie to you. Obviously had the MRI as soon as I came back and was told to make sure to always be careful with it, making sure that I wasn't going to play right away. It was really hard just to be able to sit at home and kind of just watch (the Wyndham) on TV. Would have loved to be able to compete. But I had to make sure I wasn't going to do anything bad to my ankle, make it worse or anything.

"It's one of the wettest rounds I've played in long time. Obviously that doesn't help because you have to use a lot of your muscles around your legs to be able to push through, and it's just kind of not what I need, to be honest. I would like to be able to walk on kind of flat areas and dry, just take the stress off my ankle. I'm going to need to be able to watch it for the next few days, making sure I don't do anything bad because it's going to take a few weeks to fully heal."

Mark Townsend
Contributing editor

Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on skysports.com. He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.