Thanks to five birdies on the back nine Anthony Kim shot his best round of the season Saturday at The Old White TPC. As a result, his 62 also gives him the clubhouse lead at 10 under through 54 holes.
Just two weeks ago, Kim put himself in contention at the British Open, where he tied for fifth. But mostly his season has been up and down since coming back from thumb surgery last year.
Saturday, however, Kim’s ball-striking was nearly perfect -- he hit all but one green in regulation -- and he took just 27 putts, at one point making birdie on four holes in a five-hole stretch. All his birdie putts came from inside 10 feet.
“I was just hitting smart golf shots,” Kim said. “I was starting to think my way around the course instead of just get up to a tee and the fairways are 40 yards wide and the rough is not that penal and just try to hit it as hard as I can. That's not how you play golf. Usually it doesn't work out.
“But I started hitting some fades off the tee, which this course you need to do, and made a couple putts. Hit the smart shot, even not going at a couple pins, which is hard for me to do. Hit it 15 feet right of the pin and be okay with it.
“So I got away with some poor swings because of some good lines. Hopefully I can do that tomorrow.”
Sunday should be a big test for the three-time PGA TOUR champ who ranks 92nd in the FedExCup. Only twice this year has he broken 70 in the final round, which is something he’ll likely need to do to pick up his first victory since last year’s Shell Houston Open.