Everyone misses Anthony Kim, who had the potential to be a transcendent player on the PGA Tour. It’s hard to believe that a full decade has passed since his last victory at the 2010 Shell Houston Open. One year earlier, the then 23-year-old put on a show at the Masters, carding a tournament-record 11 birdies in shooting an unforgettable round of 65 at Augusta National Golf Club — in just his second competitive round there.
Golf Channel’s Jaime Diaz and Brandel Chamblee were reminiscing about that wild round that included a double bogey and two other bogeys on their podcast when Chamblee told a story about the first time he ran across Kim.
“He was 11 years old. He was on the back of the range hitting golf balls at PGA West and I was on the back of the range practicing myself,” Chamblee explained. “I walked over and stood behind this kid — I didn’t really know who he was.
“I just heard the sound of his shots and saw how fast he was swinging the club — and after, I don’t know, the 10th in a row that never left the flag, he turned around and looked at me and said, ‘Who’s going to beat me?’ Well, I was like, ‘Certainly nobody who is 11 was going to beat you.’ I don’t know if I could have beat him at the time and I was on the PGA Tour at the time.”
Kim, who was known for his blinged-out belts and late-night partying, won three times on the PGA Tour between 2008 and 2010 and was a Ryder Cup hero in 2008 before injuries to his hand and surgery to his Achilles tendon in his left leg stalled his career. Kim last played in the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship and withdrew. A.K., we hardly knew ya, but even at 11 you always had swagger.