BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Anthony Kim, 23, has won twice this season. He has two other top-10s in his last three starts, including a T7 at the British Open. Yet listening to him you get the impression that he hasn't done anything in 2008. "Well, I've come off three disappointing weeks and I'm really fired up and ready to go," Kim said at the 90th PGA Championship at Oakland Hills on Wednesday. "I feel like my game is turning around and hopefully I can go out there and have a good week."
The old Kim would have considered '08 a banner year, whatever happens here this week and at the Ryder Cup. The new Kim still sounds hungry, not content to simply make nice checks at the British and Canadian Opens.
"I put myself in some good positions and didn't pull through," he said. "I definitely learned from those mistakes."
Hitting into a stiff wind at Royal Birkdale, Kim said he pressed too early in the fourth round, then lost his composure when he failed to get up and down from in front of the 15th green. He spent much of the week on his left side, trapping the ball to keep it out of the breeze, and then overcompensated by getting too much on his right side the next week.
"In Canada I feel like I just didn't have it," he said.
Another mistake he learned from: Taking batting practice at Boston's Fenway Park for a TV segment last week. Still sore, he finished T36 at the WGC-Bridgestone, his worst result since May.
"My body just wasn't right," he said. "I guess last week the most disappointing part was not being prepared, like I wanted to be for every tournament this year."
This is going to take some getting used to. The old Kim would have laughed off his B.P. hijinks; the new one sounds miffed that it threw him off his game. He was asked about the prospect of getting a text message from friends, beckoning him to a club despite an early tee time the next day. The old Kim would have gone out and stayed out; the new Kim abstains.
"Trust me, it's a temptation," he said. "But that's not what I want to do with my life. I want to win golf tournaments and be successful and hopefully one day I can be the best player I can be and fill out my potential, wherever that may be."
(Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)