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Tom Kim is ranked higher in the Official World Golf Rankings than the following players: Jordan Spieth, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler, Tony Finau, Sam Burns and Tyrrell Hatton. What makes this more impressive? Tom Kim is 21 years old. 

On Sunday, Kim won his second consecutive Shriners Children's Open, this time by a stroke over Adam Hadwin. Somehow, even though this was his third PGA Tour win, it may have been even more surprising than the first two which both came at age 20. Anybody can win a tournament -- maybe even two -- by finding a hot putter. But to win three across 15 months with the kind of iron play Kim has displayed thus far in his career is a different thing altogether.

"Those two wins, I was playing my game," Kim said. "I wasn't thinking about, 'OK, I need to win this event, I need to do this.' No, I played and it happened. It happened very naturally. It happened very quick.

"I think by the end of last year, two wins on the PGA Tour all of a sudden ranked 13th in the world. Suddenly you feel like you're right there and you need to do something extra. But it really wasn't. I felt like I almost added a lot of pressure towards myself to perform really well this year. But really it's been a very big learning curve for me and it's very humbling to be able to experience what I've experienced this year. 

"That's why I feel like this third one is even sweeter."

Perhaps even more impressive than Kim's third win and his No. 11 OWGR standing is his No. 13 ranking on Data Golf, which is an entity that does not look at leagues, wins or anything else, only how good you are compared to your peers at getting the ball in the hole. Kim, as it turns out, is pretty good.

What surprises me about Kim's encore year -- another win and maintaining that top 15 ranking on Data Golf -- after winning twice in 2022 is both that he won again (winning is extremely difficult, even in lesser-field events) and also that he thrived at the major championships in ways I was not sure he would.

My issues with Kim had very little to do with the person (extraordinary and electric) nor the player per se (extremely gifted) and more with how modern golf is structured. Kim is not long off the tee, which makes it difficult to keep up at most of the golf courses. 

It makes sense that his success has come at TPC at Summerlin (7,000 yards) and Sedgefield (under 7,000 yards), but it also makes sense that he had top 10s at both the Open Championship and U.S. Open. The former is where shorter hitters often find their best major finishes and the latter played shorter than most recent U.S. Opens.

There may need to be some recalibration to the Tom Kim models. I'm still dubious that he's going to win, say, a modern PGA Championship with the way it is currently set up or a U.S. Open depending on the venue. But can he be competitive at the other majors and at a lot of PGA Tour stops along the way?

Absolutely, and here are the two main reasons.

1. He is an elite iron player. His 0.71 strokes gained per round on approach shots is bested by only Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, Jon Rahm, Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler, Viktor Hovland, Rory McIlroy, Patrick Cantlay, Justin Rose and Gary Woodland among those who have enough qualified rounds. This is extraordinary company. Kim and Hideki Matsuyama (Hideki Matsuyama!) have the same strokes gained approach number over the last 12 months.

2. He's special. Winning three times on the PGA Tour is a big deal. To do so at 21 years, four months is almost unheard of. As we talk about all the time, winning is a skill, and Kim has that skill. It doesn't mean he's going to win them all, but he's clearly a closer and the numbers -- youngest three-time winner since the best to ever do it -- speak for themselves.

There is so much to love about Kim. He joked on Sunday that he was going to celebrate his third Tour win by finishing a chocolate bar he'd been avoiding. He was an electric factory at the Presidents Cup last year. He hung out with the Spieth family during Christmas and babysat their kid.

None of that plays, though, if he's not a success on the golf course. The good news for him is that you can fake it for a bit on shorter courses and with a few of the right breaks. But you cannot fake it for this long and with those numbers, especially at major championships. Last year showed that Kim could be the real deal at this level for quite a long time. This year -- including Sunday's win -- showed that he actually will be.