Byron Nelson: 16-year-old Kris Kim stuns golf world, youngest to make cut since 2015

When 16-year-old Kris Kim arrived at TPC Craig Ranch earlier this week for the CJ Cup Byron Nelson, he had one goal in mind: make the cut.

That objective became a reality on Friday evening, as Kim carded a 4-under 67 to make the cut by two shots.

In doing so, Kim became the youngest player to make a PGA Tour cut since Kyle Suppa made the weekend at the 2015 Sony Open in Hawaii. He also became the youngest player to make the cut in CJ Cup Byron Nelson history, surpassing Jordan Spieth, who did so at 16 years, nine months, and 24 days.

Kim is currently two months younger than Spieth was at the time.

“It feels pretty good. I feel like I’ve played well over the last two days,” Kim said.

Kris Kim hits a chip shot during the second round of the 2024 CJ Cup Byron Nelson.
Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

“Stayed pretty patient out there. Yeah, I guess it worked.”

Kim opened his second round by making four birdies over his first six holes, with a bogey at the par-3 4th sandwiched in between them.

He added another par-breaker at the par-5 9th hole to finish with a 4-under 32 on the front nine. By that juncture, he was well above the cut line at 7-under par for the championship and well on his way to making history.

But some adversity began to creep his way into his round. Missed opportunities at the 10th, 11th, and 12th holes kept Kim at bay, and then he dropped a shot at the par-4 13th. He drove his tee shot into the bunker there, which sent Kim back to 6-under. At that point, he was one shot above the cut, with nerves settling in.

“I guess I was,” Kim said with a smile when asked if he had some nerves down the stretch on Friday.

Kris Kim, PGA Tour, Byron Nelson

Kris Kim smiles during the first round of the 2024 CJ Cup Byron Nelson.
Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images

“It wasn’t too bad. It’s golf at the end of the day.”

He also revealed that he and his caddy ignored the leaderboards after the 15th hole, focusing solely on the present. They did not want to get distracted, nor did they intend to overthink the task at hand.

Pars at 16 and 17 followed before Kim stepped up to the par-5 18th, the second-easiest hole of the week thus far.

“To be honest, it being a par-5, it’s pretty helpful,” Kim said of how he felt on the last tee box.

“But, yeah, I mean, there is always going to be nerves when you’re on the cut line—whatever the tournament.”

Somehow, Kim managed to calm those nerves and make an easy birdie. He laid up on the 552-yard hole, sticking a wedge from 91 yards out to six feet for his third, setting up a golden opportunity. He cashed in on the final green, accomplishing the goal he set forth earlier in the week.

“I’m happy,” Kim added. “I can’t wait to get started again [on Saturday].”

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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