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It's Not How You Start... A Tip for Overcoming Obstacles in Your Round

By Keith Stewart, PGA
Published on
 Joohyung Kim of South Korea chips on the 12th green during the second round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on August 05, 2022 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Joohyung Kim of South Korea chips on the 12th green during the second round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on August 05, 2022 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Joohyung Kim is just 20 years old. And on Sunday, he became the youngest winner of the Wyndham Championship, a PGA Tour event that dates back to the 1930’s. With a sensational final round, Kim secured his first PGA Tour victory. His five-shot victory, that included a final-round, front-nine 27, might lead you to believe that his victory was smooth sailing. But, you’d be wrong.
Kim’s week started with a quadruple bogey on his very first hole of the Championship, but finished his opening round with a 3-under-par 67. There are so many times we start off a tournament or friendly round with a bad score. Most then give in to the notion that it just isn’t their day. We can learn from how Kim followed up his opening blunder with 7 birdies over the next 17 holes. 
Over the next 54 holes, Kim carded 18 birdies and an eagle.

Following the win, Kim spoke about the amazing turn of events following his unfortunate start. In those interviews, three very important themes jumped out we all can learn from & should keep on a notecard in our bag:
  1. RELAX: Kim thought he should have been more relaxed at the start of the tournament. After all, he successfully navigated his last five cuts on tour: including the U.S. Open and Open Championship. 
  2. ACCEPT: Once the quadruple bogey happened, he accepted the score and moved on. For many of us this is the toughest part. He knew that one hole didn’t define his week. He simply put it behind him and went on about his business. 
  3. PERFORM: The remainder of the first round he allowed himself to perform.  This point is related to the mindset associated with the first two points. Tom calmed himself down, knew he had been playing well and just took the remainder of the tournament one hole at a time. 
Joohyung Kim of Korea reacts to his birdie on the sixth hole during the final round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on August 07, 2022 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
Joohyung Kim of Korea reacts to his birdie on the sixth hole during the final round of the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club on August 07, 2022 in Greensboro, North Carolina. (Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
It’s great to be young and fearless, but even Kim shows us the weight of expectations can be overwhelming. Amateurs tend to make the mistake of looking ahead toward the final result. The next time you head out to play, take out a notecard and write down the three points from above. Keep it in your golf bag. Prior to teeing off, read them to yourself; relax, accept, and perform. It’s a great reminder that accomplishing your goals starts with self belief.
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