LAS VEGAS – If Chris DiMarco can follow Rocco Mediate’s lead and rejuvenate his career with a dramatic money-list jump, he could have Anthony Kim to thank.
DiMarco has been added to the field at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, replacing Kim.
Citing caution with soreness in his surgically-repaired left thumb, Kim withdrew from what was going to be his first start since the BMW Championship.
“The thumb was bothering him and he didn’t want to take any chances,” said Dave Haggith, director of communications for IMG.
Kim was on a roll earlier this year, winning in Houston, then finishing third in the Masters and T-7 at Quail Hollow, when he chose to address a nagging thumb injury. He had surgery and sat out three months, but since his return his play has been ragged. In six tournaments since mid-August, Kim has cashed just two checks, both at no-cut tournaments (Bridgestone Invitational and BMW). In his first three years on Tour, Kim had never missed more than two cuts in a row; during his return to action this season, he missed four straight.
Haggith knows people will try and tie together the WD to a story published in today’s Las Vegas Review-Journal about an incident at a casino involving Kim, “but they are not connected,” he said.
According to the story, which was published in a celebrity column, Kim was reportedly loud and thus was asked by Bellagio officials to tone things down at the gaming tables.
“And he complied,” Haggith said.
Kim is scheduled to play the HSBC Champions tournament in China Nov. 4-7, the Chevron World Challenge Dec. 2-5, and the Shark Shootout Dec. 10-12.
As for DiMarco, he comes into the tournament ranked 167th on the money list and very much in need of a performance like Mediate’s. Last week, at the Frys.com Open, the 47-year-old Mediate won his first tournament since 2002, jumping from 182nd to 72nd on the money list.