Monday, July 7, 2008

Bookmark for Anthony Kim Slobbering

Anthony Kim has picked up the second win of the season - both in events somehow associated with Tiger Woods. It's his second win in 5 starts. And that means that the media has found someone to latch onto for now. Expect a bevy of stories about Kim in recent days. Having been in the Media Center this week for my local event, I'm saving space now for all of the ga-ga. (Not that it is not deserved.)

I'll begin with PGATour.com's Helen Ross. She does a bit of an intro piece on the kid which includes this about his changed work ethic:

Mark O'Meara and Jeff Sluman took Kim under their wing. But the real wake-up call, he says, came at the BMW Championship last year, the third -- and Kim's final -- event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. And it came courtesy of Woods.

Kim had just gotten to Cog Hill when he ran into the game's No. 1 player. Woods had already practiced and was headed to the first tee. Kim, on the other hand, barely had time to woof down a breakfast burrito before his starting time.

"By the time I got out there, I had time to hit about three, four putts and I had to go tee off," said Kim, who went on to tie for 52nd while Woods won. "I ended up feeling like I played pretty well and got drummed. ... Really that was quite a low point in my ... short career.

"And to feel like I wasn't doing myself justice to act that way, and prepare that way, I just took a step back and said, if I'm going to do this, I'm going to do it the right way and I've been doing it ever since."

And the whole post-round transcript here.

I mentioned that Kim has now won in two events somewhat associated with Woods - Wachovia and the National. It's a big deal for him.
Q. What does it add to this aside from pretty much clinching a spot on The Ryder Cup team and getting yourself a FedExCup position; what does it add that this is Tiger's event?
ANTHONY KIM: It's huge for me. I grew up watching one video, and it was called Tiger's Triple when he won three U.S. Juniors and three U.S. Amateurs. To win his golf tournament is amazing.
Because I idolized him growing up, it's so surreal for me to be in this position right now.

Q. You've won twice now on old, traditional golf courses; in fact, courses that Tiger speaks highly of. Is there any significance to the type golf courses that you've won on?
ANTHONY KIM: I don't know if there is. I know I'm playing quite well right now, and I'm thinking well. And it seems like Wachovia and the AT&T here, you had to think your way around the golf course instead of just bomb it and gouge and try to wedge it up there and make a lot of birdies. It was more of a strategic golf course and I seem to do pretty well at those.
More to come...

And, we're back this morning with more.

Thomas Boswell just loves Anthony Kim because he's so much like Tiger that it is scary. (This is a great time to point out that the formula for a story like this is to go to ASAP Sports, copy and paste quotes, and then insert some opinion about the future of the player in question. The lesson? Just read ASAP Sports.) Don Markus wrote basically the same column for the Baltimore Sun - and had a killer parking spot for it all.

Dan Daly in the Washington Times starts bringing out the Legends comparisons.
Granted, he's not quite in Tiger Woods' class as a prodigy, but he has won as many tournaments at this age - 17 days past his 23rd birthday - as, say, Phil Mickelson (two).

(Tiger, just for the record, had won seven, and Jack Nicklaus four. Plenty of famous names - Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Ernie Els - hadn't won't any.)

So, yes, the imagination can run a little wild thinking about Kim and what might lie ahead. After all, he doesn't strike you as the next Robert Gamez, who won twice as a rookie in 1990 and didn't record victory No. 3 until 15 years later. His game is just too solid, and he hits the ball too darn far.

Probably a bit much, but who knows yet. Jason Sobel doesn't take it nearly that far, but instead opts to give some numbers showing that Kim deserves a lot of credit for what he has achieved lately.

I didn't see Larry Bohannan from the Desert Sun in town, but he may have been. Either way, he appropriately puts the Kim win into perspective - without reading the same quotes from the transcripts.

5 comments:

The Florida Masochist said...

Forgive my ignorance, what's the connection of Tiger to the Wachovia tournament?

Bill

Ryan Ballengee said...

Of course, a bit of a stretch, but Tiger has a great track record at Quail Hollow and is a part of "his tour." It's a loose connection, but Kim seems to have a huge affinity for anything Tiger.

The Florida Masochist said...

That's weak. Woods record at Wachovia- A 3rd, 11th, and a win. More interesting to me- Kim has now won on both courses that played host to the old Kemper Open. Now if only Pleasent Valley would return to the tour schedule......

As a golf historian, Anthony Kim to Tom Weiskopf would be a good match. Some say they have similar temperments, Weiskopf's record at Quail Hollow(Kemper Open) from 1970-79- 2nd, 1st, 11th, 1st, cut, 2nd, 1st, 12th, 54th

His record at Congressional- 8th(1976 PGA) Kemper Opens of 80 and 81 17th, 2nd,

I remembered Weiskopf winning Kemper 3 times at QH and finishing 2nd at the 81 Kemper at Congressional without having to look it up.

Nobody but I have probably noted, but Kim's win is the 4th by a player of Asian heritage on the PGA Tour this year. 2 by Kim, 1 by Imada, 1 by KJ Choi. The LPGA has 5 such winners.(SH Lee 2 times, Tseng, Ji, Inbee Park) So when's the Asians are taking over the PGA Tour chant going to start?

Bill

Ryan Ballengee said...

Bill, you have me crushed on golf history, ha. I do like the comparison to Weiskopf, though.

As for the Asian angle on the PGA Tour this year, I think because Kim is an American that people will not talk about it as much...if at all.

I feel that people have a gripe with Asian wins on the LPGA Tour because they just don't like the feeling that there are tens of players that are perceived to be foreigners in every sense that are doing well for themselves. Americans, in general, root for other Americans. And if there are no Americans, then they really don't care. That's why soccer struggles to catch on here. Same with tennis lately.

I have noticed what you're mentioning, but I really don't find it a big deal on either the PGA Tour or the LPGA Tour. Golf is global and people need to get over it; especially if the idea is to make professional golf appear more global in its reach and schedule.

Bill-DC said...

I think Charlie Wi is a safe bet next year to win Tiger's tourney :)

Thanks for the history lesson Bill.