Kim focused on playing and not on rumors


SHANGHAI – Anthony Kim says he is playing his best golf since his May thumb surgery, even if his scores at the HSBC Champions might not fully show it.

“This is the first week I’ve hit it well since I’ve been back,” Kim told after a 2-under-par 70 left him 13 strokes from the third-round lead at Sheshan on Saturday.

“I’m starting to hit my driver as far as I used to, so I’m looking forward to future success.

“I have another month of rehab to go but the doctor says I’m looking good. I feel I’m about 85-90 percent there.”

Kim made headlines two weeks ago when he pulled out of the PGA Tour’s Las Vegas stop amid media reports of wild behavior at a local casino and club. But Kim insists his withdrawal had nothing to with those reports and was instead a precaution to protect his thumb.

“Even this week was questionable (whether I’d play),” he continued. “I’m still icing it (the thumb) after every round, every practice session. It was precautionary (pulling out of Vegas) but at the same time I don’t want to rush into next season and not be ready.”

As for those media reports of his night on the town, Kim says they were “completely fabricated.”

One report said he bought 115 bottles of alcohol and sprayed a $25,000 bottle of Dom Perignon onto the dance floor of a Vegas club, while another quoted a card dealer describing him as a “loose cannon.”

“I didn’t even feel like I needed to defend myself, they were so outrageous,” Kim said of the reports. “I can’t do anything about it now and they’re going to say what they want to say.”

Asked whether anything at all had happened, he said: “No, nothing at all.”