RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — I.K. Kim left an indelible mark here in 2012, one of which she is often reminded, not that she needs reminding. Who can forget missing a one-foot putt to win a major championship that they lose in a playoff?
But one can move on, and Kim apparently has done so in a dignified manner.
Kim, 30, shot a seven-under par 65 in the second round of the ANA Inspiration to take a three-stroke lead over Lexi Thompson and Katherine Kirk on the same Mission Hills Country Club course on which her renown initially was made.
“I have much support and I just want to keep going out there and trust my process,” she said on Friday. “I want to be the person that enjoys playing golf. Yes, outcomes sometimes [they’re] difficult to take, because I don't have control over it. That's the truth.
“You know, every stage, every passage of life, has meaning to it and serves some purpose to it. So I'm just here doing my best. I've done pretty good work over the winter. I just feel like I want to see what happens.”
Kim has since won a major championship, the Women’s British Open in 2017, her seventh LPGA victory and fourth since she kicked away what was then the Kraft Nabisco Championship and lost to Sun Young Yoo in a playoff.
To what degree that loss haunted her cannot be quantified, though in the ensuing six years here she has not finished better than a tie for 27th.
She is likekly to improve on that this week. A South Korean native, Kim torched the Dinah Shore Tournament Course on a perfect desert morning, making eight birdies and only a single bogey.
“I wasn't really paying attention to the leaderboard because I'm just blessed to be here,” she said. “Long time it was one of my goals, but now I'm just really happy to be out here. I have better understanding of what I'm doing actually out here, so just one day at a time.”