Friendly Fire

U.S. Open 2023: Keith Mitchell smokes Si-Woo Kim with errant approach, Kim plays hurt, everybody enjoys a couple yucks

Don’t let Keith Mitchell’s retro scripting and midpack performance at Los Angeles Country Club fool you, the Sea Island local has had an adventurous week in Los Angeles. It started with some fancy foreign cuisine courtesy of ol’ Zurich Classic war buddy Sunjae Im and continued when Mitchell hit one into the grandstands off 17 on Thursday, allegedly striking a fan in the, uh, range balls.

Mitchell’s wacky week didn’t peak until late Saturday afternoon, however, when he overcooked his approach from the 14th fairway, striking Si-Woo Kim, who was standing unaware on the 15th tee box. For one agonizing moment, the gallery held their breath as Kim fell clutching his side … before he popped right back up with a smile on his face. JK everybody!

Just a couple of guys being dudes. You love to see it. Mitchell came over to give Kim a hug after the incident, sharing a couple yucks as the two went on their (mostly) merry ways.

While charming on the surface, the incident highlighted yet another complaint about LACC. The course’s tight urban confines has led to pace-of-play issues throughout the week, as well as friendly-fire incidents like the one Mitchell and Kim encountered on Saturday. Between that, the course’s relative softness and numerous broadcast snafus, golf fans have had no shortage of things to complain about, but let's be thankful Kim walked away with nothing more than a welt and a good story to tell in the locker room.