April 2, 2011
University of Michigan senior men's golfer Lion Kim will play in the 2011 Masters, with tournament week running Monday through Sunday, April 4-10, at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. He earned an invitation by winning the 2010 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship.
Things Don't Quite Look the Same
After taking Thursday to drive the near 14 hours from Ann Arbor to Augusta, Ga., with his family, Lion Kim was back on Augusta National Friday morning. He played his seventh 18-hole practice round -- fourth with caddie Louis Lawrence. Kim mentioned the views around the practice greens and driving range were vastly different from his earlier practice sessions.
"With the grandstands and leaderboards in place, the entire grounds around the clubhouse and course were developing that big-event feel, especially with a ton of tour professionals walking around the grounds."
Kim said he spoke with good friend Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, and they were going to meet up and play a practice round on Monday. Kim noted he spoke with several Tour players, including Luke Donald, the former Northwestern golfer, and Northwestern head coach Pat Goss, who is Donald's swing coach.
Kim says he is also expecting to play a practice round with K.J. Choi on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Accuracy was Kim's primary focus off each tee, but he practiced aggressive lines and angles on his second shots and shots into the greens.
"I wanted to see what worked and what did not," he said. "Amen Corner was fun, but challenging as always. I took a lot of different lines. Let's just say some worked and some did not. You learn quickly that it is easier to just aim for the middle of the fairway or green."
While the fairways were firming up and the greens were quick, he was warned that they were nowhere near tournament conditions.
The Weekend Prep Schedule
Kim's weekend preparation will be one of practice and rest. He will register Saturday morning, then practice the front nine later that day and the back nine on Sunday. He will spend the evenings with his parents, moving from the hotel they are currently staying at to a rented house.
The Famed Crow's Nest Awaits
For decades, the amateurs playing in the Masters field have slept in the Crow's Nest, which is situated atop the main clubhouse. Now-famed players such as Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods have slept in one of the club's twin beds, which are placed in a room measuring 30 feet by 40 feet. In addition to one bedroom, three tiny rooms are partitioned off with a card table in the center with a single television. Amateurs share a single bathroom and sink.
Kim will stay at the Crow's Nest Monday and Tuesday. Other amateurs in the field are Oklahoma State's Peter Uihlein (U.S. Amateur champion), Stanford's David Chung (U.S. Amateur runner-up), Jin Jeong (British Amateur champion), Hideki Matsuyama (Asian Amateur champion), and Nathan Smith (U.S. Mid-Amateur champion).
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423