Malaysia’s Jeremiah Kim Leun Kwang intends to enjoy every moment when he tees it up with the some of the world’s best players in the US$7 million CIMB Classic, which starts this Thursday at TPC Kuala Lumpur’s West Course.
The 23-year-old recalls watching his good friend, current Malaysian No 1 Gavin Green, playing in the last two events.
“Now we the one holding the golf club and playing! I’m just going to enjoy every shot, being in the moment, playing a PGA Tour event. I’m just going to enjoy every moment,”said Kim, who earned his place in Southeast Asia’s only PGA Tour event by winning the CIMB National Championship at TPC Kuala Lumpur’s East Course last month – his first win in seven years as a professional.
Asked if playing in front of large crowds would unnerve him, Kim replied: “Yeah, I guess, but since young I’ve always liked the crowd. I always liked people watching me play, so I think I’m going to embrace that.”
Kim added that he would love to play with two-time champion Justin Thomas. “He was number one [in the Official World Golf Ranking] not that long ago so it will be nice to see his game and what he’s like when he’s playing.”
Lending support to Kim this week is his Australian coach Tony Maloney, who was based in Kuala Lumpur for many years before moving to Thailand and now Korea. Kim paid tribute to Maloney’s role in his development as a player.
“Tony’s helped me a lot through the years … my good times, my bad times and all. I always give him a call after my round. It’s nice to have him here with me this week,” he said.
Kim is one of two Malaysians in the field this week, with Ben Leong qualifying as this No 2 Malaysian in the world ranking following Green’s decision to stay in Europe and play in the concurrent British Masters.