Kim 54-Hole Leader at Wachovia

By Associated PressMay 3, 2008, 4:00 pm
2007 Wachovia ChampionshipCHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Quail Hollow Clubs tree-lined, old-style setup has produced an impressive list of winners, ranging from Vijay Singh to Jim Furyk to last years champion, Tiger Woods.
 
With Woods unable to defend his Wachovia Championship title following knee surgery, Anthony Kim moved a step away from joining that elite group'a month shy of his 23rd birthday.
 
The steady, focused, and less flamboyant Kim shot a 6-under 66 on Saturday to take a four-shot lead over Jason Bohn and Heath Slocum after the third round.
 
While Kim still sports the signature shiny belt buckle with his initials, the big hitters recent focus on his game left him at 13 under and as close as ever to his first PGA TOUR win.
 
But the best way to describe how Kim has changed was not the long drives and six birdies Saturday, it was a short punch out on the third hole, when he decided not to try a low-percentage shot to reach the green.
 
Six months ago I would tried to go for it, and there was double or triple bogey written all over that, Kim said. I chipped out, saved par, and that kept my round going. Little things like that have added to some good play.
 
Kim passed Bohn, the second-round leader and his playing partner, by sinking a 9-foot birdie putt on the ninth hole. Kim added another birdie at No. 14, then navigated through the courses tough closing stretch with his best golf of the round.
 
After getting up and down for par on the 17th, Kim ripped a 324-yard drive on No. 18 and hit his second shot to 7 feet. He made the birdie putt and calmly walked off the course as the only golfer without a bogey on his scorecard and well ahead of one of the strongest non-major fields on the tour.
 
I feel like Im ready, Kim said of trying to become the eighth golfer in his 20s to win this year, but you never know.
 
Bohn recovered from a poor day of putting with a chip-in for par on the 18th for a 72 and a second-place tie with Slocum. But Bohn was in awe of what he saw from Kim.
 
It was awesome to chip in on the last hole, but I didnt play as well as I wanted to today, Bohn said. I played with somebody who played extraordinarily good, almost Tiger-esque. He hit a lot of great shots. So it was fun. I got to watch good golf anyhow.
 
Slocum charged into contention by holing out for eagle on the 15th hole. Slocum shot 68 and will be paired with Kim on Sunday.
 
I thought it was going to be maybe three feet short and it really just kept rolling out and rolling out, Slocum said of his eagle. It was lined up and the crowd starting getting a little bit louder and a little bit louder and it disappeared.
 
Bohn will play with Stewart Cink, who was tied with Dudley Hart (70) at 8 under.
 
Cink, whose 65 matched Pat Perez (6 under) for the best round of the tournament, is part of a field of big names with plenty of work to do Sunday. Furyks 71 left him at 7 under with Geoff Ogilvy (69). Singh (70) and Fred Couples (69) were at 6 under. Phil Mickelson recovered from his two late double bogeys Friday to shoot 69. He was at 5-under with Adam Scott (66).
 
But they wont have a chance if Kim continues his success at the 7,442-yard layout. Kim and Woods are the only players here with a scoring average of less than 70.
 
If he plays like he did today, were not going to be able to catch him, Bohn said. But the finish on this golf course is phenomenal, because anything can happen.
 
After three missed cuts and no finish better than 30th in six tournaments, Kim decided he was talking a little bit more than I was practicing. His renewed focus led to his tie for second at the Verizon Heritage last month.
 
Kim said he tried to limit his risk-taking and not get down after bad shots.
 
If I didnt hit a good shot, I felt like my life was over, Kim said. Its hard to play golf that way. Its hard to do anything that way. Im just having a lot of fun out here. I love being on the PGA TOUR and living my dream. Its pretty special.
 
Bohn, who entered the day with a two-shot lead over Kim, missed birdie putts on 13 and 14, then bogeyed the par-5 15th, a day after he raved about the success with his new putter.
 
Bohns short-game woes allowed Kim to roar past him.
 
Kim was born in Los Angeles and was the NCAA freshman of the year at Oklahoma in 2004. He turned pro after his junior year and burst onto the PGA TOUR by tying for second in the 2006 Texas Open.
 
As the youngest rookie on the PGA TOUR in 2007, Kim had four top-10 finishes ' including a seventh-place finish at Quail Hollow. But he never won and then struggled to make cuts earlier this year.
 
It was a great learning experience, Kim said. If I won I think theres a chance I wouldnt have practiced as hard as I am now. I feel like Im very focused out there. Hopefully I can keep it up.
 
Related Links:
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes
  • Leaderboard - Wachovia Championship
  • Full Coverage - Wachovia Championship
  • Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

    He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

    Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

    Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

    Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

    Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

    Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

    Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


    Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

    Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

    Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


    Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

    Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

    Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


    Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

    Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


    Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

    Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


    Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

    Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


    Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

    Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


    The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


    Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


    And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

    Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


    Photo Galleries: Best of ...

    Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

    Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm
    Getty Images

    Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

    By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

    The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

    They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

    Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

    Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

    Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

    ''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

    The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

    In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

    Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

    Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

    By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

    Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

    Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

    Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

    Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

    It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

    The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.