Allenby rips Kim as U.S.’s ‘loosest cannon’
Alex Miceli recaps the Presidents Cup, explains why Fred Couples was a good captain and offers insight into the 2016 Olympics.
SAN FRANCISCO – Australia’s Robert Allenby said he knew one thing when he went to the first tee Sunday for his Presidents Cup singles match against American Anthony Kim: He’d be a lot more rested than his opponent.
Allenby said friends here witnessed Kim getting back to the team hotel, in Allenby’s words, “sideways” at 4 in the morning, less than five hours before his scheduled tee time against Allenby at Harding Park.
“Some guys (from the U.S.) who didn’t play well played very well today,” Allenby said after the U.S. downed the International team, 19 1/2 - 14 1/2, to win its third consecutive Presidents Cup. Kim, going out in the fourth match of the day, drummed Allenby, 5 and 3, running his record in the matches to 3-1.
“Maybe we should all take the theory of Anthony Kim,” Allenby said. “Get home at 4 o’clock (in the morning) and then go shoot 6 under.”
Asked if his comments were on the record, Allenby said, “I don’t care. Ask his playing partners. Ask his team. He is the loosest cannon in that team.”
Allenby went on to call the 24-year-old Kim golf’s “current John Daly.”
Informed of Allenby’s comments outside the U.S. team cabin, Kim said reports he didn’t get back to the team hotel until 4 a.m. were “absolutely false.” Kim said he joined his team for dinner Saturday night, met up with friends for 20 minutes and went “straight to my room.”
Said Kim, “He said that today? Wow. That’s pretty surprising. . . . I hope that was a joke.”
Told it was not, Kim added, “I’m actually pretty surprised that he said that. I was in tip-top shape coming into today. When you get sat out in a match (as Kim did Saturday morning in foursomes), you’re out there to prove a point.”
Kim also called untrue a report that he’d been asked to leave a U.S. team function earlier in the week, saying he had left the team room and returned to his own room because he was sweating and did not feel well. But a U.S. player who asked not to be identified told Golfweek that U.S. captain Fred Couples told Kim in the team room one evening to either be more presentable or go back to his room. Kim, Couples confirmed, went to his room.
Team members also said Couples at one point sent two members to Kim’s room to ask him to come join the others in the team room.
“Somebody went up to the room and got him, and he came down and had a blast,” Couples said. “He’s so much younger (24) than everybody else. He certainly doesn’t want to hang around with Kenny Perry and me.
“I just told him, ‘You know, it’s just the team room. Come on and eat and go home.’ I don’t expect him to sit and talk to the wives. . . . He was good. It took a day. That’s all it took. We picked on him a little bit and then I decided with Michael (Jordan, an assistant captain). Michael said, ‘Just let him go, and he’ll come back to you.’ ”
Couples said by the end of the matches, Kim told him that he’d had a ball and enjoyed the week’s camaraderie. Couples even gave Kim one of only four limited-edition Jordan basketball jerseys that he handed out to special achievers during the week. Saturday, jerseys went to Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker for their pivotal foursomes victory. Sunday morning, Couples gave one to Amy Mickelson, who is battling breast cancer and arrived in San Francisco to cheer on the team, and one to Kim, who’d played well in winning his match alongside Jim Furyk on Saturday afternoon.
Nonetheless, Kim’s singles victory did not sit very well with at least one player.
“I’m just pissed off that I lost to him,” Allenby said. “Maybe I should have gone out with him.”
Kim offered a different idea.
“If Robert had that to say,” Kim said, “he may need to go practice a little bit more.”