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Anthony Kim seeking to bounce back in 2010
February 3, 2010

Anthony Kim won twice, starred in the Ryder Cup and climbed to No. 6 in the world ranking. That was two years ago, and it would seem the 24-year-old American would strive to get back to that level.

But as he makes his U.S. PGA Tour debut this week in Los Angeles, Kim is aiming higher.

“After the year I had two years ago, even though people said it was a breakout year, I don’t feel like I did anything super special,” Kim said on Tuesday. “I would like to do something super special this year.”

And what does he have in mind?

“Win golf tournaments,” he said. “Nobody cares if you finish in the top 10.”

Even before Tiger Woods took his indefinite break, Kim thought he’d get plenty of attention in what could be a pivotal year to determine whether he makes the most of his talent or makes excuses.

For a guy like Kim, it’s a backhanded compliment when the U.S. PGA Tour refers to his 2009 season in the media guide this way: “Despite failing to reach the career-best numbers he posted in 2008, (he) still managed to finish No. 35 in the FedEx Cup standings.”

Kim said his only entourage this year will be his personal assistant, caddie and occasionally his swing coach, another change from having a posse of friends with him at most tournaments.

He already has managed to be in the news this year. Kim became the scapegoat for the Bob Hope Classic’s weak field when he was among nine U.S. PGA Tour players who took releases to play in Abu Dhabi. All nine were European Tour members, six of them were Europeans. Kim took heat as the only American, not to mention a kid who went to high school not far from the tournament.

Kim offered no apologies, saying that he will be playing more U.S. PGA Tour events than the 22 he played last year.

“We’re trying to grow the game everywhere. It’s not just about the PGA Tour,” he said. “If golf grows on the European Tour, in Asia, that only helps the PGA Tour. That’s where I wanted to start my season.”

Scott McCarron, who seems to be in the news a lot these days, was among those who criticized Kim for skipping the Hope. Perhaps it was just a coincidence, but Kim ran into McCarron on Sunday in the Palm Springs, California area.

He said McCarron tried to explain what he meant in his comments, although Kim didn’t seem terribly interested.

“I saw what Scott said. He’s on the player board (Players Advisory Council), and his opinion got out in the media more than it usually would, or would at all,” Kim said. “I saw him a couple of days ago, briefly. He mentioned something about it. But he really didn’t bring it up to me, so there was really nothing for me to say to him.”

Going into a pivotal year, Kim is mainly interested in delivering a message through his scores.

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