Injuries cause subpar year for Kim
Friday, December 25, 2009
WHO ROSE AND WHO PLUMMETED IN 2009?
This week, Golfweek.com will be looking at the players who made significant moves during the past year in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index.
Anthony Kim: Mediocre year
Ranking/movement: 51 (-43)
Why the fall? After a 2008 season during which he notched two victories and six other top 10s, Kim looked pretty ordinary this year. Kim, 24, started the season with a runner-up finish at the Mercedes-Benz Championship. However, he didn’t finish in the top 10 again until July, with third-place finishes at the AT&T National and Canadian Open. Then it was back to mediocrity.
The California native was handicapped by shoulder and thumb injuries this season, but ended the year pain-free. He capped his season with a runner-up finish to Ross Fisher at the Volvo World Match Play Championship on the PGA European Tour.
Kim blames his inconsistency on swing changes made to compensate for his injuries. Kim ranked 175th on the PGA Tour in fairways hit (53.65 percent) and 164th in greens in regulation (62.69 percent) – down considerably from his 2008 percentages.
Kim’s scoring average also soared from 69.28 in ’08 to 70.51 in ’09, even though he ranked second on Tour this season in putting average. That’s almost five strokes per event.
Kim says: “The season would have been a lot different had I been fully fit. I started to play better towards the end of the year once I got over the injuries, so I’m looking forward to playing pain-free next year.”
– Alistair Tait