RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – A night after enduring a death threat from a pair of strangers while out for dinner, Danielle Kang played the ANA Inspiration Sunday with a security detail following her.
And she played remarkably well.
Kang posted a 5-under-par 67 at Mission Hills with Riverside Sheriff’s Department deputies continuing to investigate Kang’s complaint that she, her mother and a friend were threatened Saturday evening while dining at Midori Restaurant in Rancho Mirage following the second round. Kang said a man who appeared to be in his late 20s, or early 30s, and another man in his 50s harassed Kang and her companions while they dined.
“I was actually scared for my life,” Kang said.
Kang said while chatting with her companions and a sushi chef, the two men kept trying to intervene in their conversations with inappropriate comments from a nearby table.
“They kept making remarks after remarks,” Kang said. “We just didn’t acknowledge it.”
Kang said at one point, one of the men screamed at them to “turn around.”
“My mom says, `Are you talking to us? And he says, `Yeah, you b----.’ That’s how it started, out of nowhere,” Kang said. “I was in shock mode.”
Kang said one of the men accused her party of insulting his heritage. She didn’t understand what he was referring to. He said one of the men then came over to her table.
“He says, `I’m going to f------ kill you. It’s not my fault you played like s---, you stupid b----. I could slap you. I don’t care who the f--- you are,’” Kang said. “At this point, the guy is standing over me and my mom. I’m like `Is this happening? What’s going on?’ I am kind of thinking I’m going to be stabbed if this guy has a knife. Nobody [in the restaurant] did anything. He was shouting. Everyone stopped eating.’”
Kang had struggled to a 77 in Saturday’s round, but she didn’t know if the men knew who she was. She said the men said they were going to wait outside for Kang’s party, and that one of the men angrily stared them down at the doorway before leaving.
“We’re going to beat the s--- out of you,” Kang recalled the man shouting before leaving.
Kang said she called the police with the men waiting outside, looking at her through the window.
Riverside Sheriff’s Department Deputy Michael Vasquez told GolfChannel.com that officers were called to the restaurant shortly after 6:30 p.m. Saturday, that patrons and employees complained of two men using offensive language. He said officers were investigating the complaint as a “disturbance of the peace” and looking into the “particulars of the threats.” Vasquez said when officers arrived, the two men in question were gone and their identities remain unknown.
Kang said she retrieved the name of one of the men from the credit card he left at the restaurant and gave it to the deputies.
Kang said multiple security officers, some of them uniformed, took turns following her during Sunday’s round. Kang’s mother was in the gallery.
“I was worried about my mom,” Kang said.
Kang said she was told sheriff’s deputies might be bringing photographs of suspects for her to identify.
While Kang said she wanted the men to be held accountable, she’s wary of what might happen if she presses charges.
“I’ve never seen a man so upset in my life, and I don’t know what I did to cause it,” Kang said.
About posting a 67 after all that, Kang said: “I just kind of put it behind me."