Kim in Fast Company - COPIED
Kim captured the AT&T National Sunday and, among other things, secured a spot on captain Paul Azingers American Ryder Cup team. He also got a call from the recuperating Tiger Woods afterward during which he addressed Woods as Bro.
Im just going to try to keep doing what Im doing, Kim said. Im working hard on making the right decisions on and off the golf course and Im going to keep working hard and see where that gets me.
Well said. These are good times for Anthony Kim.
Watching Kim so efficiently golf his ball at Congressional Sunday reminded me that we have just inched past the halfway mark of calendar 2008 and one of the moments that sticks out, as I look back at the first half of the year, was Kims breakout 5-shot victory in the Wachovia Championship.
It was the first TOUR win for the 23-year-old Kim (he was 22 at the time). And he just looked so good and so confident on that Sunday.
With all due respect to Trevor Immelman, Justin Rose, Geoff Ogilvy, Hunter Mahan and all the other top 20-somethings, I believe Kim will be the one who will eventually succeed Tiger Woods atop the world rankings. It may be five, or even 10, years from now. But Woods cant be No. 1 forever.
Kim has changed for the better in the past two years and he has talked about acquiring a certain amount of maturity on and off the golf course. What I like about this transformation is that he has done so without giving up all the attitude that helped him achieve much of what he has to date.
Earlier this year I reported that Kim was in the process of leaving one agent and looking for another. I made the point on Golf Channel air that this was the kind of distraction that was coming at precisely the wrong time for Kim.
And he took my point to mean that I thought he was reverting to his old ways. That wasnt the case. But I respected his perception. When he learned that I wasnt meaning to be critical of him, things cooled down between us.
The bigger picture is the AT&T National was a wonderful golf backdrop for a Fourth of July weekend that seemed to have more import this year. Our forces are at war in the Middle East. Its an election year. And a slumping American economy is serving up tough times for a lot of people.
All of which, I think, will contribute to a heightened sense of meaning when the Ryder Cup convenes in September in Kentucky.
Im not advocating the jingoistic War By The Shore atmosphere that pervaded much of the U.S. Ryder Cup victory at Kiawah in 1991. But the Europeans should be on notice that there will be an SEC football game atmosphere at the matches. And they will not be playing for the home team.
And, by the way, Id still love to see a U.S. Ryder Cup team with Woody Austin, Paul Goydos, Boo Weekley and Rocco Mediate on the roster. The theater, if not necessarily the result, would be terrific.
Speaking of terrific, the ascendancy of Lorena Ochoa on the womens side (especially at a time in which Annika Sorenstam is preparing to exit the competitive stage) was a tonic for the LPGA in the first half of 2008.
My personal highlight was standing near the banks of the 18th hole water hazard at the Kraft Nabisco in early April while a Mexican mariachi band played and the victorious Ochoa and her friends and family took a victory swim.
Tiger Woods winning four of the six events he entered was bittersweet. Bitter because a bum knee ended his year prematurely. Sweet because his level of excellence had once again risen to the level of the hype that surrounds him every time he shows. The U.S. Open victory will only grow in stature as the years pass.
Woods, meanwhile, is a shoo-in for Player of the Year unless either Phil Mickelson or Trevor Immelman wins the Open Championship and the PGA Championship.
On the subject of the Open Championship, which will be upon us in less than two weeks, a lot of people are suggesting that a victory there will be accompanied by an asterisk because of Woods absence.
The best way to end that debate will be for high drama to unfold Sunday at Royal Birkdale. Something along the lines of a playoff that ends when somebody holes out a shot from the fairway on the final hole to win by a shot.
I know thats unlikely. But if this years British has the kind of memorable conclusion that you can hope for but not predict or expect, nobody will be talking about asterisks.
Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt
Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off
NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.
Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.
The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.
Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.
Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.
Third-round tee times for the 147th Open
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.
Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.
Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.
Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.
Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.
4:15AM ET: Gavin Green
4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed
4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose
4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton
4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley
5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner
5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson
5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)
5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood
5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello
6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford
6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma
6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele
6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood
6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na
6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin
7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim
7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira
7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters
7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li
7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker
7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink
8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook
8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris
8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim
8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari
8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson
8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell
9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka
9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott
9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren
9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone
9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett
10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler
10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell
10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau
10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen
10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele
10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood
11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson
Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.
He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.
“There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.
At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.
Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.
“I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”
Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?
Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.
Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.
“I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”
Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.
Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.
“It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.
More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.
“I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”