MARANA, Arizona (AP) Anthony Kim was on the far end of the practice range knowing that his chances of playing in the Accenture Match Play Championship were thinner than the mountain air above Tucson on Wednesday.
Kim was the first alternate, and he had to wait five hours to make sure no one withdrew.
He also was the first casualty of the PGA Tour's new cut policy that limits the weekend field when more than 78 players make the cut.
Kim was among 19 players at 1-over par at the Buick Invitational who did not get to play the final two grounds because the cut was 85 players. He was awarded official last-place money ($9,880) and FedEx Cup points (47).
What he could have used were world ranking points.
When qualifying for the Match Play ended, Kim was at No. 66 in the world, a mere 0.004 points behind J.B. Holmes.
"Justin Leonard was one shot ahead of me and he finished fifth," Kim said.
There's no telling what Kim would have shot on the weekend at Torrey Pines. It was his 77 on the South Course in the second round that caused him to get the most notorious acronym on tour MDF, which stands for made the cut did not finish.
World ranking points were awarded to the top 56 that week, meaning Kim had to shoot only 74-74 on the weekend to get something. And because he has played only 34 events the last two years, his divisor will be the minimum 40 for two more months. In other words, whenever he earns any points, his ranking only can go up.
Kim thought he would make the field anyway because Ernie Els had said he would not come to Dove Mountain this year. The Big Easy changed his mind last week, meaning Kim went from a possible first-round match with Tiger Woods to an alternate who only got privileges on the practice range.
He had said last week at Riviera he would not come to Arizona, then showed how much he is maturing by changing his mind.
"If I had gotten the call in Dallas at 7 a.m. and not been here, that would have been foolish," he said.
As for the MDF at Torrey Pines? Kim says he has no one to blame but himself. He knew the cut policy when he teed off in the first round and was solely responsible for his score.
The question he has now is what the policy board should consider when it meets on Monday to decide whether to revise the cut rule. If already one person has been affected, is it fair to change the policy in the middle of a season?