NORTON, Mass. – Anthony Kim’s only hope now is to persuade Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin with words, not scores.
In his final chance to make an impression before Pavin announces his four picks Tuesday, Kim opened with a 68 and then crashed out Saturday with a 76 to miss the cut in the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Does he have a chance?
“If he believes my game will come around in a month,” Kim said in the locker room as he finished writing notes to his pro-am partners. “If he judges me on my last two weeks, I probably won’t be a pick.”
The 25-year-old Kim, fresh off a victory in the Houston Open and a third-place finish at the Masters, was No. 2 in the Ryder Cup standings when he decided to have surgery on his thumb that kept him out for three months.
Since his return, Kim was 76th out of 79 players at Firestone (where there is no cut), then missed the cut in his next four events. He fell out of the automatic eight qualifiers at the PGA Championship.
Kim has regained his length off the tee and said he spent seven hours practicing on Tuesday, which he could have never done before surgery. He just can’t seem to post a score.
“I told Corey if I’m not playing good, I would swear on everything and tell him,” Kim said. “It’s close. I’ve been playing every day.”
Kim doesn’t regret having the surgery. If he could have played through the pain, he easily would have qualified. His only regret is returning when he did.
Kim said he was healthy enough to return, but rusty from not being able to practice enough. Instead, he showed up at Firestone trying to pick up points and secure a spot on the team.
“At that point, I needed to make points,” he said. “Unfortunately, he (Pavin) now has some scores in front of him to look at.”
He headed to the car with his clubs in a travel bag from the Ryder Cup at Valhalla, where Kim led the Americans to victory. And despite his struggles, he was still smiling.
“I just need to have someone tap Corey on the shoulder in the middle of the night and say, ‘Pick the kid. He’ll be ready.’”
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FUNNY RULES: Chad Campbell was No. 83 in the FedEx Cup standings and opened with a 72. He never got a chance to improve his position, at the Deutsche Bank and in the playoffs, when he was disqualified Saturday for a technicality.
He forgot to register for the tournament.
Players have three responsibilities that have nothing to do with their swings – officially enter a tournament, register for the event before their first tee shot, and sign their card.
If Campbell were to ever fail to sign his card, he would have the hat trick.
A year ago, he was on a plane halfway across the Pacific Ocean when he realized he never entered the Sony Open in Honolulu. The blunder at Deutsche Bank was even worse.
“Just can’t believe you would make a mistake like that,” Campbell said. “Just kind of slipped my mind.”
Reminded of the Sony Open mishap, he said, “It’s starting a trend.”
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COLLEGE SPIRIT: Nike makes sure its players get into the college spirit a couple of times a year, such as the Transitions Championship (NCAA basketball tournament) and the Deutsche Bank Championship on Saturday, for the start of the college football season.
Tiger Woods had the Stanford logo on his white shirt, while Anthony Kim had his OU logo for the Sooners’ opener and Justin Leonard wore burnt orange with a Texas Longhorns logo on the back. Paul Casey (Arizona State) and Lucas Glover (Clemson) also got involved.
Stewart Cink, the Georgia Tech grad, wore a white shirt with thin blue and gray lines, no logo anywhere.
He left his Yellow Jackets shirt back at his hotel by accident, except that it was no accident. Turns out Cink is a little superstitious, and he didn’t like the results he was getting on what he calls “special shirt day.”
“My scoring average is like 76,” Cink said. “Every time it’s special shirt day, I have a bad round.”
He pointed to a 78 he shot at the Transitions Championship in the opening round, leading to a missed cut. And the “Live Strong” shirt he wore at the Travelers Championship, where he got off to a bad start and shot 70. A year ago at the TPC Boston, he shot 71 to miss the cut.
So on Saturday, he took a pass.
“It’s in my room,” he said. “I put it my iPad on top of it so it would look like I forgot.”
Cink shot a 66 and was four shots out of the lead.
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OVERFLOWING CUP: Stewart Cink twice has been a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup, and he is considered a favorite to get one of the four picks Tuesday. But he’s awfully tired of talking about it, much less thinking about it.
“The Ryder Cup is like a reward,” he said after a 66. “I’d love to be on the team, and I hope to get his attention. But I’m getting so many Ryder Cup questions. I just want to concentrate on this tournament.”
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DIVOTS: The last 36-hole leader to win Deutsche Bank Championship was Olin Browne in 2005. … Scott Verplank withdrew from the second round with a wrist injury. He is in danger of falling out of the top 70 in the standings and missing next week. … The last time Woods lost his No. 1 ranking after a five-year run was at the TPC Boston in 2004. … Andres Romero made a hole-in-one on the eighth hole. Romero made it to Boston by making a 40-foot birdie putt on the last hole of The Barclays.