By Kevin Raftery, Daily Sports Writer
Published April 8, 2011
Standing next to 6-foot-3 Davis Love III, Michigan senior Lion Kim had to crank his neck up just to look the 20-time PGA Tour Champion in the eye.
It’s no wonder the best tool in Kim's arsenal is his short game — and his Achilles heal is his long game.
“He’s got an amazing short game,” caddie Louis Laurence said on Friday. “And the irons he hits (are) as good as anybody. But he’s got to hit it farther with his driver.”
Both Kim’s exceptional short game and his lack of distance off the tee were apparent throughout the week.
Of the 99 players who played in the Masters last week, Kim ranked 22nd in putting, with a 1.58 putts per hole average. He was also one of just 14 players to make it through Thursday and Friday without blasting a three-putt.
Compare that with his driving stats, and Kim’s weaknesses become apparent.
He was ranked third-to-last in driving distance — ahead of only 53-year old Larry Mize and 59-year old Ben Crenshaw — with an average driving distance of just 256 yards.
But Michigan coach Andrew Sapp is convinced Kim will hit the ball farther as the years go on.
“I’ve seen a lot of these (PGA) players play in college,” Sapp said, “and they’re a lot longer now than they were in college. He’ll gain the length he needs.
“And I think with the way he putts and the way his short game is, he’ll be able to get around any golf course.”
MAKING THE TREK TO AUGUSTA: Michigan fan and former graduate Bob Goode has put some serious mileage on his car recently.
Goode, a West Bloomfield, Mich. native who also attended the Michigan basketball games in the NCAA Tournament, drove 13 hours on Monday night in order to make it to the practice rounds in Augusta on Tuesday.
But that wasn’t the original plan.
“I was too excited and I couldn’t sleep,” Goode said. “So I got in the car and left at 9:30 Monday night.”
Goode originally just had tickets for a couple of the rounds, but a friend from South Carolina helped get him tickets for the rest of the weekend.
“My buddy knows I’m the only moron in the world who would do this by (himself),” he said.
Goode, decked out in a Michigan polo and Michigan hat, was planning on attending the Masters regardless, but he said having Kim there was an added bonus. He followed Kim for nearly the whole second round.
AMATEUR UPDATE: Of the six amateurs that competed, Kim finished tied for second with Stanford’s David Chung.
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan was the lone amateur to qualify for the weekend, as he just barely made the cut with a two day total of 145 (+1).