Tom Kim is excited to test his game at Le Golf National in this week’s Cazoo Open de France as he bids to boost his hopes of returning to the venue for next year’s Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The Korean is making his debut in continental Europe’s oldest national Open, which is celebrating its 50th edition on the DP World Tour.
The event marks an opportunity for many in the field to gain experience around the 2018 Ryder Cup venue, which will stage the golf competition when it appears on the Olympic schedule for the third consecutive time since its return in 2016.
Kim, a two-time PGA TOUR winner who played in the FedExCup Playoffs last month, is currently in line to earn a qualification spot for what would be first experience of the Olympics and admits to holding a dual objective on the outskirts of Paris.
“It’s [the 2024 Olympics] definitely up there in my mind,” he said.
“Obviously, I want to play well this week, but I am also trying to get used to the course and be able to hopefully qualify for the Olympics and represent my country.
“I think it’s going to be fun at the Olympics next year when it’s here.
“Obviously it’s a great test and I can only imagine what it’s going to be like coming down the stretch to fight for gold. So no, I’m looking forward to it.”
Rising star Kim comes into the week after a top-20 finish on debut at the BMW PGA Championship, while he finished second at The 151st Open, a week after a tie for sixth at the Genesis Scottish Open.
As a result, the World Number 18 arrives in the French capital with “nothing but good vibes” and relishing being in Europe.
“I don’t get to do much of this,” he said. “Obviously we get to go to the UK, but to be able to come to a place like France, I’ve always wanted to come here, so I am having a great time.”
The Albatros course at Le Golf National is hosting France’s national Open for the 29th time this week, with a strong field assembled including BMW PGA Championship winner Ryan Fox, Ryder Cup rookie Robert MacIntyre and two-time DP World Tour winner Min Woo Lee.
The venue is synonymous with the Ryder Cup after hosting the biennial contest in 2018 and Kim is aware of the challenge – regarded as one of the toughest examinations on Tour – awaiting him.
“Yes, there is obviously a lot of water and there’s a lot of wind right now and I’ve heard,” he said.
“It’s a little different from the Ryder Cup where it was playing firm and a little faster.
“It’s playing a little soft right now, but obviously even though it’s soft, there’s still a lot of things to play for that you have got to think about. So no, it’s going to be interesting.”