AUGUSTA, Ga. – Claude Harmon III walked briskly to the practice green, holding Si Woo Kim’s putter.
Well, what was left of it.
Just the clubhead.
“And he’s 4 under!” Harmon said.
Yes, improbably, because on the 15th green Friday, Kim slammed his putter into the turf and bent the shaft, rendering it useless for the rest of the round.
He was only three shots back at the time.
“Just frustration,” he said.
Kim had three-putted from the back edge for bogey on the 14th hole. Over the green in two shots on 15, his chip shot had rolled all the way to the front edge. That’s when he took out his aggression.
“That wasn’t on purpose,” he said, “but it was broken.”
With just 13 available clubs for the rest of the round, Kim said he opted for his 3-wood instead of, say, a bladed sand wedge because he thought it’d be easier to control the speed on the quicker greens.
And so, with his fairway wood, he two-putted from 18 feet for par on 15. He narrowly missed a 15-foot birdie try on 16. He two-putted from 30 feet on 17. And then he missed a 13-footer for birdie on 18.
“I was lucky,” he said. “The last few holes, I only had a birdie putt. So no pressure to make it. I just got lucky there.”
After making par on the last four holes, Kim signed for a 3-under 69, leaving him at 4 under and three shots back of Justin Rose’s lead at the halfway point of the Masters.
Afterward, Kim wasn’t in a playful mood when discussing his decapitated club. When asked whether he had an extra putter on hand, he waved off the reporter.
“I don’t want to answer anymore, sorry,” he said, walking off the interview platform.
But within a few minutes he was on the practice green stroking putts, a new putter in his hands.