Now I'm not gonna lie, I could care less about The Masters and golf in general for that matter. Don't even get me started on Tiger Woods. However that said, I'm always in favor of propping up a former Sooner and after an impressive first round of 68 (-4 under) that's exactly what Mr. Anthony Kim deserves.
Check out the details after the jump.
Kim, the former Sooner standout, is a rising star on the PGA tour and while I certainly don't follow golf I've definitely been impressed with Kim's continued vocal support of just about anything OU. Without fail, every interview I've ever heard with him has involved some reference to OU, his time on campus, how much he enjoyed himself, and how much he loves to support the athletic programs.
Despite playing in some fairly brutal (at least for golf anyway) conditions yesterday and some trouble with his driver, Kim still managed to put up an impressive first round score.
As far as nicknames go, "Wild Child" would be a pretty good one to describe Anthony Kim. Fortunately, that is limited to his shots inside the ropes these days.
Thursday at Augusta National, the wind was blowing a steady 20 mph with gusts as high as 35 mph, but Kim said he would have hit his driver all over the place anyway. Not that it seems to matter much these days.
Kim will never be confused for Seve Ballesteros, but he’s turning bogeys to birdies in a manner that’s eerily reminiscent. A week after Kim hit just 41 percent of his fairways en route to winning for the first time since 2008, he was back at it, shooting a 4-under 68 to sit just one off the lead at the Masters -- despite hitting some shots that were as much as 40 yards off line.
"Hopefully I can figure out my driver, but I hope it keeps playing this hard off the tee," said Kim, who is also playing with a torn ligament in his left thumb that will soon require surgery.
It won’t, of course -- though a tornado watch was issued shortly after Kim had a whirlwind finish of his own with three straight birdies, including one courtesy of a ridiculous chip-in on No. 17 that curled into the hole.
Earlier in the day, the winds of fortune were blowing in a different direction for Kim. After playing the front nine in 3-under 33, he opened the back in 3 over with three straight bogeys.
Kim hit a "terrible" drive on No. 10, was 40 yards right with his tee shot on No. 11 and couldn’t figure out the wind on Augusta National’s most unforgiving par-3, No. 12.
Still, it’s all about confidence when it comes to Kim and he had plenty of it after his opening round, as he should. This might be only Kim’s second trip to Augusta National, but it’s not his first time in this position near the top of the leaderboard at the Masters.
Last year, Kim shot a second-round 65 (matching the low round of the tournament) that left him in sixth place. He faded on the weekend with rounds of 72-74 to finish in a tie for 20th, but this is a place that suits his game.
Despite all those problems with the driver, and despite having to back off what he said were about 10 shots, Kim still managed to hit 12 of 18 greens in regulation. He also took just 27 putts -- or a very good 1.5 per green in regulation.
"The wind is swirling out there and you just have to be patient," Kim said.
If Kim can be, he has a chance to become the second player since Phil Mickelson in 2006 to win the week before the Masters then go on to capture the Green Jacket.