‘Every shot matters’: Kim Joo-hyung gets stuck in mud on adventurous hole at PGA Championship

May 19, 2023

The scorecard for the South Korean player Kim Joo-hyung in the first round of the PGA Championship in the state of New York showed he had a bogey on the par-4 sixth hole.

But it was far from your ordinary bogey.

Kim’s tee shot crossed the water and fell into a muddy area to the right of the fairway on the sixth hole at Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, New York, on Thursday (local time). Desperate to find the ball so he could play the next shot without taking penalty, the 20-year-old Korean walked into the marsh.

Little did he know getting out of it would prove to be much more difficult.

“As soon as I went in, it was kind of sketch,” Kim said in a post-round interview with ESPN. “If I was able to find it and I had a good enough of a lie, I was thinking I could chip it over there. It’s a major championship. I’m fighting for every single stroke I have. Once my foot got in, I was like, ‘There’s no looking back.’ I went full in.”

Kim, better known by his English first name, Tom, in the United States, never did find the ball. And he got stuck in the mud, eventually needing help from his caddie, Joe Skovron, to get back out to the course. Kim then walked over to the adjacent creek to clean up, as the muddy stuff had reached up to his waist.

“It couldn’t get any worse,” he said, laughing. “I was wet enough, so I thought I might as well just go into the water and wash myself off.”

Kim, who began his round on the back nine, took a penalty stroke and made bogey on that sixth hole, which is remarkable considering what transpired. Kim then closed out his round with three consecutive pars for a three-over 73. Kim is tied for 63rd place with the first round having been suspended due to darkness.

As for his opening round overall, Kim said, “It could have been a lot better, that’s for sure.

“I hung in there, especially after what happened on that hole,” Kim added. “I hope everyone at home understands it’s a major championship, and I am just trying to play the best that I can. And every shot matters. I definitely went full in. It didn’t really help I didn’t find my ball. But it was a great experience.”