Anthony Kim lights up Augusta National with 11 birdies

Anthony-kim-masters AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Somebody forgot to tell Anthony Kim that Thursday was the day for scoring at the 2009 Masters, not Friday. On a gusty day when the field’s scoring average soared by more than a stroke and half, Kim made Augusta National look like Augusta Municipal, reeling off a Masters-record 11 birdies on his way to a seven-under 65. The 23-year-old Kim opened with birdies on Nos. 1 and 3, then carded four straight on 5, 6, 7 and 8. He slipped up with a double-bogey at 10 and then caught fire again, birdieing 12, 13, 14 and 15. His 11th birdie, on the home hole, broke Nick Price’s record, which Price set in the third round of the 1986 Masters.  “I haven't been making 11 birdies in two days, so to make 11 in one day is pretty special,” said Kim, who hasn’t won on Tour since last July. “And obviously to do it at Augusta is amazing.  Hopefully I can build off that and if I keep the putter hot, I like my chances here.” Kim said a newspaper story he read this morning about Nick Adenhart, the 22-year-old Los Angeles Angels pitcher who died in a car crash Thursday, inspired him to play aggressively. “The last line in the story was: ‘You never know what can happen, even at 22.  You have to live every moment of every day like it’s your last,’ ” Kim said.“I think that's what made the 11 birdies a lot easier,” he added.Among the highlights: At the par-4 first, he hit a 9-iron from a fairway bunker to 15 feet and made the putt. At the par-4 14th, he stuck his wedge approach to 8 inches. At the par-5 15th, he hit a 4-iron to 20 feet. And at the par-4 18th, he drained a 12-footer for the record. “It feels like a 58 right now,” Kim said. “I mean, I just tried to stay steady.  Even though I made a bogey on 9 and a double on 10, and I three putted early on No. 4, I just said, ‘Stay steady.’ The first goal is to make the cut, and then make a run on Saturday and Sunday.” At just five off the lead, Kim is in a position to do just that.(Photo: Bob Martin/SI)

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by Kevin Cunningham