Michigan's Lion Kim misses cut, gains confidence at the Masters
Lion Kim finished three shots shy of making the cut at the Masters, but the University of Michigan senior said this week’s experience at famed Augusta National Golf Club convinced him he’s ready for a run at professional golf.
“I learned that my game is good enough to compete out there,” Kim said after shooting an even-par 72 Friday to finish tied for 58th place. “What I’m truly lacking compared to these guys, in my opinion, is experience. If I played in these types of tournaments and at these types of golf courses week in and week out, I can definitely see myself competing on the next level.”
Kim doesn’t have a timeline in place, he said in an audio interview posted at MGoBlue.com. Up first is graduation from Michigan in June, then he’ll decide if he wants to turn professional before or after the U.S. Amateur Championship is played Aug. 22-28.
After shooting a 4-over 76 on Thursday, Kim made the turn Friday at 1-under after picking up birdies on both par 5 holes on the front nine. Kim narrowly missed birdie putts on holes 12 and 13 that would have put him in contention to qualify for weekend play. He finished his round with a bogey on 18.
“I knew that if I shot something under par on the back, I would have a good chance of maybe playing the weekend,” he said. “I had a number in mind and for me to shoot the number I had, I figured I would need to shoot a couple under on the back. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to do that.”
Kim played alongside PGA Tour veterans Davis Love III and Jose Maria Olazabal on Friday. Both of them shot 77 and also missed the cut.
"For him to play against two Hall of Fame golfers and beat both of them, hopefully proves to (Kim) that he can play on this level,” Michigan coach Andrew Sapp told MGoBlue.com. “He still has a lot of work to do and a lot of it is gaining more and more experience at this level. But I am convinced he can make it on the PGA Tour after this week."