Tom Kim is 20 years old and has already won on the PGA Tour, taking the 2022 Wyndham Championship to earn his first PGA Tour title and earn full membership on the circuit.
However, most people didn't know Tom Kim as that name when he made his debut on the PGA Tour. Instead, they knew him by his given name, Joohyong Kim. In fact, he is listed as Joohyong Kim in the Official World Golf Ranking, where he has crept into the top 25 in the world.
So why does the PGA Tour, golf announcers and the player himself refer to him as Tom Kim?
Why does pro golfer Joohyong Kim call himself Tom Kim?
Joohyong Kim calls himself Tom Kim in part because he wanted to come up with a name for himself that gives him a nickname for English-speaking fans in the United States.
How he arrived at Tom as his nickname, though, is interesting: It's because he loved the children's TV character, Thomas the Tank Engine.
"Actually, it was Thomas," said Kim in 2020 of his nickname. "I got it from Thomas the Train when I was young. As I grew older, some people started calling me Tom, and I thought it was just shorter and more simple. I think by the time I was 11 I just went by Tom. My brother even calls me Tom. It was kind of natural. And my family calls me Tom as well, my friends call me Tom, so it kind of just came natural to me. It was that kind of name."
He wasn't kidding around either.
"Yeah, definitely. I had the whole thing, I had the lunchbox, I had the toys, yeah."
Now Tom Kim is about to be a multi-time PGA Tour winner, so the man can call himself whatever he wants.