Kim looking to surpass early PGA Tour success

By Doug FergusonFebruary 3, 2010, 12:40 am
Anthony Kim won twice, starred in the Ryder Cup and climbed to No. 6 in the world ranking. That was two years ago, and it would seem the 24-year-old American would strive to get back to that level.

But as he makes his PGA Tour debut this week in Los Angeles, Kim is aiming higher.

“After the year I had two years ago, even though people said it was a breakout year, I don’t feel like I did anything super special,” Kim said on Tuesday. “I would like to do something super special this year.”

anthony kim
Anthony Kim makes his 2010 PGA Tour debut this week at the Northern Trust Open. (Getty Images)

And what does he have in mind?

“Win golf tournaments,” he said. “Nobody cares if you finish in the top 10.”

Even before Tiger Woods took his indefinite break, Kim thought he’d get plenty of attention in what could be a pivotal year to determine whether he makes the most of his talent or makes excuses.

For a guy like Kim, it’s a backhanded compliment when the PGA Tour refers to his 2009 season in the media guide this way: “Despite failing to reach the career-best numbers he posted in 2008, (he) still managed to finish No. 35 in the FedEx Cup standings.”

Kim said his only entourage this year will be his personal assistant, caddie and occasionally his swing coach, another change from having a posse of friends with him at most tournaments.

He already has managed to be in the news this year. Kim became the scapegoat for the Bob Hope Classic’s weak field when he was among nine PGA Tour players who took releases to play in Abu Dhabi. All nine were European Tour members, six of them were Europeans. Kim took heat as the only American, not to mention a kid who went to high school not far from the tournament.

Kim offered no apologies, saying that he will be playing more PGA Tour events than the 22 he played last year.

“We’re trying to grow the game everywhere. It’s not just about the PGA Tour,” he said. “If golf grows on the European Tour, in Asia, that only helps the PGA Tour. That’s where I wanted to start my season.”

Scott McCarron, who seems to be in the news a lot these days, was among those who criticized Kim for skipping the Hope. Perhaps it was just a coincidence, but Kim ran into McCarron on Sunday in the Palm Springs, California area.

He said McCarron tried to explain what he meant in his comments, although Kim didn’t seem terribly interested.

“I saw what Scott said. He’s on the player board (Players Advisory Council), and his opinion got out in the media more than it usually would, or would at all,” Kim said. “I saw him a couple of days ago, briefly. He mentioned something about it. But he really didn’t bring it up to me, so there was really nothing for me to say to him.”

Going into a pivotal year, Kim is mainly interested in delivering a message through his scores.

VOTAW DIVORCED: Less than four years after Ty Votaw married Sophie Gustafson of Sweden, whom he began dating while still commissioner of the LPGA Tour, the couple has divorced.

According to records in St. Johns County, Florida, the marriage was dissolved on Jan. 25, and the judge ordered the case sealed a day later. Votaw is the PGA Tour’s chief spokesman, who also spearheaded the successful bid to get golf back in the Olympics. Gustafson has 23 victories worldwide and has played on the last seven Solheim Cup teams.

Votaw took on some controversy and even a LPGA board review of the relationship (it saw no conflict) when he began dating Gustafson in 2002 after his first marriage ended in divorce. He retired as LPGA commissioner in 2005, and they married in June 2006.

Contacted by e-mail, Votaw declined to comment.

STICKING WITH WHAT WORKS: Steve Stricker was a rising American star in 1996 when he won twice and finished No. 4 on the PGA Tour money list. Endorsement offers followed, Stricker changed clubs and it was a contributing factor to his plunge into obscurity.

Even in the midst of a great revival, Stricker is mindful not to repeat history.

He has stuck with Titleist while climbing to No. 3 in the world ranking and becoming a staple on Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup teams. And he is hesitant to fix what’s not broken.

Stricker is still using the 755 irons, which he first began using four years ago. Titleist has come out with two new versions from that model of irons, yet Stricker isn’t about to change. He even has duct tape on one club where a plastic label has come off.

“I have a hard time coming off the years I had and changing something,” Stricker said.

Not that he’s unwilling to try. Stricker had the new Titleist AP2 irons in his bag at the Chevron World Challenge in December and shot a 65 in the final round at Sherwood to finish 10th. When he arrived in Hawaii, his old clubs were back in play.

“I’m kind of snakebit from 13 years ago,” Stricker said. “I’m very cautious to change.”

DALY DOINGS: John Daly already has received two sponsor exemptions on the PGA Tour this year. Pebble Beach is not one of them.

The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am has one of the more peculiar criteria. It takes winners of the tournament, the four majors and The Players Championship dating to 2005 – and all such winners before 2000.

Daly qualifies because of his majors (1991 and 1995), while Todd Hamilton (2004 British Open) does not. Matt Gogel (now retired) would not be eligible for winning Pebble in 2002, while Brett Ogle would be eligible for winning in 1993.

Daly, meanwhile, said on Twitter that his partner next week would be Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

DIVOTS: Ben Crane has three PGA Tour trophies, two of them collector’s items – the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee and AT&T Classic outside Atlanta no longer exist. … The Royal Bank of Canada is expanding its golf sponsorship, adding personal endorsements with Fred Couples, Luke Donald and Morgan Pressel. RBC already had deals with Anthony Kim, Mike Weir and Stephen Ames.

STAT: The first four PGA Tour events have been decided by one shot. The last time that happened was in 2002, when two of those events were decided in playoffs.

Getty Images

Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. 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.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.