Kim still searching on eve of first round

August 11, 2010

HAVEN, Wis. -- Oddsmakers will tell you to avoid players who are frequenting the practice range late on the eve of a major championship, because they are obviously still searching for a golf swing. Think of it as cramming for that final exam while not quite sure what the questions will be.

Perhaps it was no surprise that two of the five men still beating balls at 5:30 p.m. CDT at Whistling Straits, site of the 92nd PGA Championship, were Anthony Kim and Henrik Stenson, who happened to finish in the bottom five last week at the no-cut WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.

At least Kim, 25, had an excuse for the extra range work, having just returned last week after more than three months on the sidelines following surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. The thumb is still an issue, and he was attempting to work through the problem Wednesday, though he was clearly frustrated at times, swiping at the ground with his club.

"I'm pulling shots because the thumb is kind of grabbing a bit on the downswing, but I think I've got it figured out," Kim, winner of the Shell Houston Open in April, said after hitting a couple of drivers in a satisfactory direction. "It definitely was looking better there. I think I'll be ready (Thursday)."

Kim, who begins his fourth PGA Championship at 7:50 a.m. Thursday on the 10th tee with Jerry Kelly and Paul Casey, said he's keen on playing well given that in the intervening months on the sidelines, he has slipped to sixth on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list.

"This is a big week for me; I really need to play well," he said. "There are a lot of guys who are playing some great golf right now, and I want to hold onto my position and just make the team. That's my real goal this week."

-- *Dave Shedloski