Kim returns to action after three months off
He really, really needs to play the four rounds.
After not teeing it up for even a single hole for the past three months while recovering from surgery to repair ligament damage in his left thumb, Kim doesn’t know what to expect.
“I have four days of golf guaranteed, even if I shoot 110,” he said on Tuesday. “I haven’t played much golf, but I’m excited to be here.”
Kim’s thumb was hurting when he won the Houston Open, and when he finished third at the Masters. It reached a point where he knew he had to do something about the injury. The biggest risk was dropping in the Ryder Cup standings because one of his primary goals the rest of the year is making the U.S. side.
“At Quail Hollow I started feeling like other parts of my body were breaking down because of my thumb, and I was starting to compensate. Just to prevent any further damage anywhere else, I wanted to get it taken care of,” he said. “But 100 percent I wanted to be back for the Ryder Cup and try to do as much as I can to make that team. I think the timing was right.”
Kim was No. 2 in the U.S. rankings when he had the surgery on May 5. He’s only dropped to fifth despite the time away.
“To even fall to No. 5 isn’t a great feeling, but I know I can take care of that with some good play and not worry about that,” he said.
Just a couple of hours after he came out of surgery, he called U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin. He tried to make his case to not be forgotten while he was out.
“I told him, ‘Listen to this and I’m done, I won’t bother you again. I want to play on your team so bad that the reason I played hurt is to make the team. I promise you if you put me on the team, I’m going to have a good attitude going over there. I’m the kind of player you want,”’ he said.
Kim didn’t do anything terribly dramatic or adventurous during his sabbatical. He hung around his house in Dallas with his friends, spent a lot of time with his mother and got a new French bulldog named Deebo.
“It was nice to spend time with my mom, and it was nice to spend time with my dog and be at home and just be a normal 25-year-old kid who gets to hang out at the house,” he said. “It’s been very nice for me to be at home and not worry about what’s going on in the golf world and just relax. And then come out here with a fresh attitude.”
It’s clear that he didn’t pay much attention to what happened in golf while he was away. He said he hadn’t seen much about the recent 59s shot in competition on the PGA Tour (by Paul Goydos in the first round of the John Deere and Stuart Appleby on Sunday in the final round of the Greenbrier). He had never heard of South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen before he coasted to victory in the British Open two weeks ago. And he wasn’t aware that international players had won 16 of the 33 tour events overall and 11 of the last 15.
Now Kim is hoping to get back in the groove, week by week, while proving himself to Pavin.
“It doesn’t feel like I’m hitting it as hard as I would if I had a couple more weeks, but I hit about 10 drivers yesterday and it doesn’t feel like I have the same pop,” he said. “But it’s going straight, which hasn’t been the case the whole year. Just to have my thumb attached to my hand has been a plus.”
Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.
Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.
''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''
They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.
''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''
Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.
''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''
Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.
Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.
Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.