TOUR's youngest rookie enjoying life
By Melanie Hauser
IRVING, Texas -- He hates doing laundry. Absolutely hates it.
He loves locker room food. He'd be in there all day long chowing down if he could.
He's an Eminem guy -- but his iPod is ecletic. A little 50 Cent, a little Kenny Chesney.
And his immediate plans for any windfalls this season? He's buying his mom a house. Paying the taxes, too.
Meet Anthony Kim, the youngest rookie, a rap fan and a rapidly rising star on the PGA TOUR. He's playing in the EDS Byron Nelson Championship this week.
He finished tied for second in his first TOUR event as a professional -- the Valero Texas Open. And after a shaky start this year, he's caught fire, finishing tied for ninth at the Nissan Open, tied for fifth at the Shell Houston Open and tied for third at last week's Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
That not enough? Well, he also happens to top the all-around rankings -- he jumped ahead of Vijay Singh -- and despite his small stature (5-foot-10, 160 pounds), he's fifth in driving distance.
The stats belie the fact that the last year has been one learning curve after another. Starting with moving to Dallas last fall, getting into a few events and -- most of all -- q-school, where he tied for 13th to earn his card.
"I just didn't know how stressful q-school would be,'' Kim said. "It wasn't just the week of final stage, it was first stage, and then you wait two weeks and you go to second stage. You wait another two weeks, and all that pressure builds up and you try and hold it in as long as you can, and after that I needed a break.
"So I took quite a bit of time off, tried to do things I wanted, hang out with friends, maybe work out and do things that I wasn't allowed to do for the six-week stretch. ''
By the time the season started in Hawaii, he wasn't practicing much and, to use his words, things snowballed. He got back on course at the Nissan Open when his coach, Adam Schreiber, flew in for some good work sessions.
"Fortunately,'' he smiled, ''everything turned around from that point on.''
He's now 36th on the money list with a bullet, having collected $353,800 last week with that tie for third. But he knows money isn't everything.
A three-time All America at Oklahoma, Kim is two decades younger than some of the players he's paired with. His closest friends out here, honestly, are players like Fred Funk, Kenny Perry and Todd Hamilton. Veterans. Hamilton, who also played at OU, is the youngest at 41.
To read the rest of the article, please visit: