"He knows a lot about sports and he's talking a lot about sports," Couples said. "His role is, we all respect him."
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
Thursday, March 04, 2010

GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Christina Kim began her season with a minor bus accident in Thailand, played OK in Singapore last week and missed her flight to Australia's east coast because she got the departure time wrong.

Just another few weeks in the often wild life of the American who says "I can't be tamed."

Known for her outlandish clothing and outgoing personality, Kim arrived at the ANZ Australian Ladies Masters a day late because she thought her overnight flight from Perth on Australia's west coast left at 11:50 p.m. Tuesday.

It left at 11:15, without her.

"I was pushing it a little bit as it was," she said. She made the most of her unexpected extra night in Perth, spending it at a rock festival with musician friends, got up at 5 a.m and went to the airport.

On Feb. 19, her transportation problems took on a more dangerous turn when Kim was shaken but unhurt when the player bus crashed leaving the course near Pattaya, Thailand.

The accident involving a bus, truck and a police car happened when Kim was returning to her hotel after the second round.

Kim gave her version of the accident on Twitter and posted photos that showed minor damage to the three vehicles involved.

Her first tweet read: "OMG the bus I was riding in got into an accident and 3 vehicles (our bus, big rig truck our police escort) were involved, but no one was hurt."

"I still have the jitters 45 min afterwards."

Kim tied for 40th in Thailand, tied for 29th in Singapore a week later and shot a 1-under 71 on Thursday in the first round of the Australian Masters, leaving her five strokes behind leader Amanda Blumenherst.

"Today I hit a lot of quality shots, 'c'est la vie' putts - they didn't drop, simple as that," Kim said. "I hit 15 or 16 greens today and just looked like a five-year-old around the greens."

"Just a few degrees off. I'm in a good place right now where the golf course definitely fits my eye very well. It's just a matter of getting the ball to go underground."

Kim seems to be in a good place all the time - on the course, off the course, with whomever she meets. She's one of the most popular players in women's golf due to her honest approach.

"I don't have any time in my life to be dishonest," Kim said. "I don't have the energy to exert to be anything than who I am. I'm genuine. I understand golf tends to be a more reserved game and more traditional if you like, but I can't change,"

She loves to chat to the kids carrying the scoreboards in her group, stops a spectator when she see an unusual piece of clothing or jewelry and is just, well, always happy.

"I like to think that I'm bright and very happy because of the very fortune and blessed life," Kim says. "I try to see the positives in everybody."

Kim has a book coming out next month in the United States called "Swinging From My Heels," but she says it's unlikely to upset anyone.

"I mention a few names, but I'm pretty friendly with most of the players out there," Kim said Thursday. "So, I do mention a few names and I don't say anything negative by any means."

Here's a few snippets from the book which were published in Thursday's Sydney Morning Herald newspaper:

"If one of the guys on the PGA Tour is feeling lonely, there is always a nice selection of so-called rope hoppers, those pretty young things who show up at tournaments in short skirts and ... heels and preen by the gallery ropes, hoping to attract a wandering eye," Kim said in the book.

Of the LPGA Tour, she writes: "I'm sure the average golf fan would be shocked to know how much we talk about sex during tournament rounds."

Her opinion is given on just about anything she's asked, and that includes players who take too long to hit their shots. Kim likes to pull the trigger quickly.

"There's no reason to sit there and dawdle over a ball," Kim says. "It's not going anywhere until you make it move. I'm the kind of person that if you dwell on something, it kind of manifests into something very, very ugly."

Kim, who turns 26 on March 15, was also asked what her parents think of her image.

"Comparatively speaking my parents are not as conservative as some of the other parents among all the other tours we have in the world," Kim said. "They've been in America for almost 30 years so they are a little bit more liberal.

"They still have strong Korean roots and I'd like to think that I do as well. But try and hold the reins for only so long and, you know, I can't be tamed."

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