SHANGHAI – Anthony Kim says he will not be going to the Dubai World Championship to compete for the $7.5 million bonus pool, even though the American has easily qualified.
Kim reached the final of the World Match Play Championship last week in Spain before losing to Ross Fisher, allowing Kim to move up to No. 39 in the Race to Dubai standings on the European Tour. He already has played 11 events to meet the minimum required, assuring him a spot in the 60-man field to end the European season in two weeks.
But his road to Dubai is taking a detour.
“I’m not going,” Kim said Wednesday evening on the practice range at the HSBC Champions, where he was among the last to qualify and the last to arrive due to visa troubles that forced him to spend all of Tuesday in Hong Kong getting his papers in order.
“I need the week off,” he said. “My parents want to see their boy.”
Kim looked weary as he hit balls with a headphone of music attached to his left ear.
He played in Las Vegas a week after the Presidents Cup, then flew to Spain for the World Match Play. Next week is the two-day Kiwi Challenge exhibition in New Zealand, followed by a few days of sightseeing before heading back to America. His last event of the year would be the Chevron World Challenge on Dec. 3-6 in California, which Tiger Woods hosts.
He has been all over the world this year – Malaysia and Australia in February before flying to Arizona for the World Golf Championship; then Spain, China and New Zealand in consecutive weeks.
“Next year, I just want to be prepared for our season,” he said of the PGA Tour, where he failed to win this year. “The PGA Tour is my home tour, and it’s where I need to play well. I’ve made it my priority to play well in the States. I was all over the place this year. I didn’t do a good job of scheduling. Scheduling is half your job as a pro. I learned a lot this year.”
Even so, Kim said he would not stop traveling.
He was among a half-dozen U.S.-based players who joined the European Tour to take part in the Race to Dubai, which ends with a $7.5 million tournament and $7.5 million bonus pool at the Dubai World Championship. Only the top 60 on the money list qualify; Kim, Geoff Ogilvy and Camilo Villegas were the only American-based players who signed up for the Race to Dubai and will make the final 60.
“Even if they don’t have a Race to Dubai next year, I’m still going to sign up for European Tour membership,” Kim said. “There’s a different vibe out here, and it’s good to experience it. I just need to do a better job with my schedule.”
Kim would not be replaced in the Dubai World Championship.