HOYLAKE, England – Tom Kim almost withdrew from The Open on Thursday night after suffering a grade-1 tear in his right ankle following a fluke injury at his rental house.
But good thing he didn’t – Kim shot a 3-under 68 in the second round to move safely inside the cut line at Royal Liverpool.
Full-field scores from the 151st Open Championship
“I’m barely walking,” said Kim, who slowly hobbled over to the interview area, “but it’s cool that I got away with it.”
Kim said that he stepped down off his patio and slipped in a muddy spot in the grass. He said his right foot caught and then “popped.” He was diagnosed with a grade-1 tear – a slight stretch or strain – that resulted in considerable swelling and bruising, to the point that he had trouble removing his spikes.
“I was very close to calling it off and not playing today – just get home and try to see a doctor because it’s pretty bruised,” he said. “I got some tough love from my team and I was told to suck it up.”
After taping up the ankle, Kim’s trainer also reassured him that he couldn’t sustain any further damage and that it would loosen up as the round progressed because of the heat and adrenaline. It helped, too, that Royal Liverpool is one of the flattest links on the Open rota.
“I definitely went out there with low expectations of I don’t know how to hit the golf ball,” said Kim, who is at even-par 142, 10 shots off the halfway lead. “It was definitely a lot of half-swings. Once I started to warm up and get more comfortable with it, I was able to play around with it.
“But I hit the ball better than that [Thursday] without a bad foot, so maybe it’s a good thing.”
Kim said that the plan for the rest of the afternoon was to dunk his foot in an ice bath and receive some treatment. He did have one immediate concern, however.
“I do need a wheelchair going to the clubhouse,” he said. “I might need some help.”