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The PGA Tour has announced that Joohyung Kim has accepted Special Temporary Membership for the remainder of the 2021-22 season.
A native of South Korea, Kim is now eligible for unlimited sponsor exemptions for the remainder of the season as he attempts to earn his PGA Tour card for the 2022-23 season.
"I’ve worked really hard to get to this point, and now I have more work ahead of me to earn full PGA Tour status for 2023," said Kim, who received a sponsor exemption for this week’s 3M Open. "It has always been a dream of mine to play the PGA Tour and I am very grateful to 3M for giving me this opportunity to compete."
Currently No.40 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Kim has made six starts on the PGA Tour this season, highlighted by a third-place finish at the Genesis Scottish Open. He recorded additional top-25s at the AT&T Byron Nelson (T17) and U.S. Open (23) as well as making the cut at the 150th Open Championship.
The 20-year-old South Korean is regarded as one of the rising stars in the game and his receipt of PGA Tour Special Temporary Membership is likely to be seen as a swipe at the LIV Golf Series and Asian Tour from Commissioner Jay Monahan.
LIV Golf Investments, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund-backed company headed by Greg Norman, along with the Asian Tour, recently unveiled 'The International Series,' which features 10 tournaments across Asia and Europe. Kim has been a prominent feature in that Series and would have been considered a target for the LIV Golf Series but for the allure of the PGA Tour and Kim's desire to become a member.
Kim crossed the threshold for Special Temporary Membership with a tie for 47th at last week’s Open Championship, accumulating as many or more points through the non-member FedEx Cup points list this season as No.150 on the 2020-21 FedEx Cup standings (287).
To earn full status on the PGA Tour for the 2022-23 season, Kim must earn as many or more non-member FedEx Cup points as the final eligible player from the 2021-22 FedEx Cup standings to qualify for the 2022 FedEx Cup Playoffs. Kim currently has 296 points, and for reference, that would fall between Nos.131 and 132 in the current FedEx Cup standings.
Kim is the youngest player to join the Tour as a Special Temporary Member since Joaquin Niemann did so as a 19-year-old during the 2017-18 season.
Special Temporary Members are not eligible for the FedEx Cup Playoffs, however, Special Temporary Members or non-members who subsequently become regular PGA Tour members by winning an official event during the season will be counted on the FedEx Cup points list, along with any FedEx Cup points earned as a non-member (excluding those won at World Golf Championships events, the Barbasol Championship and the Barracuda Championship as a non-member) and thus be eligible for the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.
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