staticline

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Decent read:

http://www.pgatour.com/2012/tournaments/r480/05/02/kim.wellsfargo/index.html

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- On a warm, sun-drenched afternoon at PGA National Resort & Spa at the end of February, Anthony Kim stood on the fourth hole hitting one tee shot after another. Right, left, left, right, left, right; not one of the six coming close to landing in the fairway.
It was only a practice round, but the eerie silence was deafening if not awkward as Kim stood there reloading, his arm reaching back and his caddie repeatedly tossing him a new ball.
For all of Kim's accomplishments in his still young career, the 26-year-old has been at times as lost as some of his shots have been.

Just four years removed from winning the Wells Fargo Championship, which was the first of his three victories on the PGA TOUR and the beginning of a career that would skyrocket into superstardom, Kim has come crashing back to earth to face the very real possibility of losing his card after this season.
In nine starts this year, Kim has made two cuts (and failed to finish in the top 40 in either of them). Twice he's withdrawn due to injury and once he was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard (though he would have missed the cut anyway).
"I don't want to play golf that way," Kim said. "It's not fun, not playing to win."
What has been fun for Kim is enjoying the spoils and pleasures of being young, rich and famous -- much of which was on full display in a 2010 Sports Illustrated profile that chronicled his television-meets-reality "Entourage" lifestyle.

But all those shiny things came with a hefty price tag. As one veteran player put it, success is sometimes hard to deal with and Kim at times has been the poster child of too much, too soon.
Off the course, Kim's reputation has its share of blemishes from, as Kim himself puts it, regrettable situations he's put himself in.
"I'm not the poster child for the TOUR for a reason," Kim said. "I don't go to Bible study every day. Do I believe in God? Yeah, but not because it's 'in.' I don't care what's 'in.' I'm here to win golf tournaments, get better, learn about life and hopefully one day when I have kids can tell them, 'Hey don't do that; your dad was stupid enough to do that.'"
Kim's mother, Miryoung, whom he is extremely close to, was also none too happy with some of the things her son said in the Sports Illustrated story. Kim doesn't deny the authenticity of the piece, adding that's who he was at the time, but said if he could do some things in his career over again, he would.
"One hundred percent," Kim said. "At the same time, I've learned from those situations. I'm not the perfect kid; I never claimed to be that. What I do in my personal life is my personal life. But because golf is a gentlemen's game or whatever you want to call it -- people forget I'm 26 years old and I'm trying my best."
But on the course, he wasn't.

For much of last season, Kim went from the 10,000 square-foot Dallas bachelor pad (complete with a $60,000 home theater system, among other trappings) straight to the first tee without having so much as touched a golf club in his off weeks. At one point, he says he went six months without a lesson. It showed in the results as he missed 11 cuts in 26 starts and on a couple of occasions shot in the 80s.

Kim also had to deal with the death of a close childhood friend who was killed in a car accident in California and a myriad of injuries -- most notably a torn ligament in his left thumb that resulted in surgery two years ago.
A hand injury in golf can be a player's worst nightmare for years, and Kim started making adjustments to his swing to compensate for the bad habits that started showing up inside the ropes.
"A lot of guys out here without great swings, when they're not playing well they can at least figure out how to put it in play," Kim said. "I didn't even have that ability. I had no idea what my body or what my club was doing. I couldn't control my body and I couldn't control my clubface."
The more Band-Aids he tried, the worse the physical and psychological wounds seemed to get. When they didn't work, Kim lost all confidence.
"The injury did make so many things go bad in my golf swing," Kim said. "I went from a player who hit it on top of the ball to dipping low with my left shoulder and popping up with my right. It's impossible to get a good strike on the ball.
"Then there was the disappointment of not playing well and going home and not knowing what to do and just hanging out and wasting time. That's not the type of person I am to just go home and waste time, and that's what I've been doing."


Kim says he's taking his career more seriously now -- a line that has admittedly rung hollow in the past. But there seems to be some truth to it -- for now. He's cut down on his entourage on the road, said he doesn't drink during tournament weeks and has added veteran caddie Gary Matthews, who has looped for Camilo Villegas and Sergio Garcia, among others.
So far, however, Kim's season hasn't gone as planned.
He's 204th in the FedExCup standings, has earned just over $33,000 and withdrew from each of his last two starts, telling his former trainer and still close friend Darby Rich, whom he has known since their days at Oklahoma, that he's burned out from practicing too much lately.
"He said he's thinking on every shot," Rich said. "He's got 40 things going on in his head and doesn't feel like he can walk up on the ball, see a shot and just hit it."
Seeing the shot and just hitting it is what made Kim one of the great feel players in the game at the collegiate and professional level.
After helping lead the U.S. to a win in the 2005 Walker Cup, Kim finished second in his first start as a professional after a final-round 65 at the 2006 Valero Texas Open. In his second full year on TOUR, 2008, he won at Quail Hollow and Congressional.
A year later, he made a tournament-record 11 birdies in the second round of the Masters. The following season, he nearly won the Green Jacket, putting together a birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie run midway through the back nine on Sunday before shooting a 65 to finish third.
This year, Kim failed to qualify for the Masters, and unless he finishes in the top 125 on the money list he'll be on the outside looking in at more than just the gates of Augusta National. His two-year exemption for winning the 2010 Shell Houston Open will expire at the end of the season.
As Kim walked down the fourth hole at PGA National, he did so playing by himself and with Matthews carrying a maroon-and-white stand bag baring the logo of Kim's alma mater. The Royal Bank of Canada, which had been Kim's bag sponsor, didn't renew its contract.
Though Kim says he could easily find someone to give him a bag deal, he's more concerned with trying to figure out how to hit the clubs that are inside the bag than what logo is on it.
"I'll play seven good holes then hit two or three drives like that," Kim said as his caddie gathered up the errant shots. "And there goes my round."
Matthews found all the golf balls left and right of the fairway that afternoon. Now Kim just needs to find himself and his game.
 

TC

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I am rooting for the kid.
 

Puttin4Bird

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Wow he's a wreck. Good post! I loved watching him burst onto the scene, he was young, cocky, had a great smile and a killer golf game. I hope he can get some of that back.
 

Golf Ghost

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Wow he's a wreck. Good post! I loved watching him burst onto the scene, he was young, cocky, had a great smile and a killer golf game. I hope he can get some of that back.
Think that was the AK we all fell in love with. He was fresh and new. Really would love to see him get his game back and be a force week in and week out.
 

Hanks

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Hope he gets it figured out soon....he seemed to do ok in that Nike commercial though
 

All4's

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Hope he gets his game back and loses the flat brim hat all at once.

I followed him during the Ryder Cup at Valhalla and he was the best player there of either team and it was obvious. He was an absolute beast that weekend.
 

Nate

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Maybe he needs to go back to drinking during tournament weeks? Man, after the 2010 Masters and that Sunday run I thought for sure his career was going to take off from there. Not so much. I hope he gets his head straight soon.
 

Damaikis

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I hope he gets back into it. I don't really remember when he was good. I didn't watch much golf back then.
 

Esox

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It's easy to a be a stupid kid, and for that reason I hope he finds a game. On the other hand, having that built in talent and letting it go to waste is a shame. I see how hard my daughter works, and she's not a natural and sometimes struggles compared to kids that are more athletic and natural with a club in their hands, and this kid wouldn't even practice a little bit between events? That kind of irritates me.

Kevin
 

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Yeah, to be honest I don't care if he makes a top 10 again as I don't find him to be a very compelling story, but I guess it'll be interesting to see how this turns out.
 

Canes

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I met him last year at a Cadillac / Callaway test drive event. Nice guy. Hope he gets his game back soon.
 

staticline

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I met him last year at a Cadillac / Callaway test drive event. Nice guy. Hope he gets his game back soon.
Was his entourage with him?
 

Canes

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Nate

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Well, he's off to another blazing start in the Wells Fargo Championship.....+3 thru 11 holes.....tied for 136th place.
 

Rockinar

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I followed him around Kapalua before. He was fun to watch. I did not see his entourage. Only a hot girlfriend following him in a cart. Although he was cocky and arrogant, at least he was fun to watch. Unlike Duffner. He's like watching a turtle eat grass.

EDIT:

This is the chick I saw. Now you know what the off course distractions really are. :act-up:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/anglerove/3810801702/in/photostream/
 
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staticline

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Last year, AK was invited to play The Colonial. Nike sponsors a kids day on Monday. The asked AK to be the pro at the clinic. He no-showed it and NIke had to get one of it's guys and a local instructor to fill in.

You think Colonial/Nike would learn it's lesson. This year, Colonial has, again, invited AK to play. Nike, as always, is sponsoring the Monday kids day. Guess who Nike has headlining the clinic? I'll give you 3 guesses. And, the first 2 don't count.......You are correct. Anthony Kim is slated to give the golf clinic.
 

Parrothead

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I heard he lost his sponsor on his bag. He was using an Oklahoma carry bag.

Sent from my MB865 using Tapatalk 2
 

One-T

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good read, I hope he comes back. I liked watching him golf
 

cheffor

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PGATour.com has him listed as a WD for the Wells Fargo, guess his comeback doesn't start this week.
 

staticline

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PGATour.com has him listed as a WD for the Wells Fargo, guess his comeback doesn't start this week.
http://tourreport.pgatour.com/category/tournaments/wells-fargo-championship/
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Anthony Kim, who won his first PGA TOUR event at the Wells Fargo Championship in 2008, has withdrawn from this year’s renewal with a nagging wrist injury.
Kim who shot 74 in the first round and did not tee off in the second, has been experiencing pain in his right wrist and elbow, as well as his left thumb, which required surgery two years ago this week.
Kim, who said he was grateful for the support of the tournament and the fans, plans to assess the situation before deciding whether he will be able to compete in THE PLAYERS Championship next week.
“I couldn’t be more disappointed to have to withdraw from this event,” Kim said in a statement. “… I’ve tried to play through the injuries but I know from experience that it will only make matters worse. I’m going to get it looked at and do what I need to do to get back to full health.”
 

All4's

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Pretty disappointing. No fault of his own. Injuries are every pro athletes biggest enemy.
 

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