Anthony Kim offered further evidence Sunday as to why he's being considered one of the top up-and-coming players on the PGA Tour.
Kim closed with a final-round score of 5-under-par 65 at Congressional Country Club to win the AT&T National in Bethesda, Md. Kim's strong finish gave him his second PGA Tour victory of the season by a two-shot margin over Fredrik Jacobson.
The winner of the Wachovia Championship earlier this year, the 23-year-old Kim joined AT&T National host Tiger Woods (four), Phil Mickelson (two) and Kenny Perry (two) as multiple winners on the PGA Tour in 2008. He entered the final round tied for third, three strokes back of Jeff Overton and Tom Pernice Jr.
"Winning out here is so tough that any time you get an opportunity to be in the hunt, it feels great," Kim told reporters. "To capitalize on the two chances I've had of late feels wonderful."
The last two players with multiple PGA Tour victories in one season under the age of 24 were Adam Scott in 2004 and Sergio Garcia in 2001. Kim earned his second career Tour victory in his 42nd career start a little more than two months after his Wachovia Championship win to once again push his name near the top of the discussion of rising young stars.
"Any time there's a younger guy that plays well, there's always a little bit of buzz that's created and people are looking and hoping to find the guy that's going to challenge Tiger," Kim said. "Right now, he's obviously injured and not going to be out here, but it's a time for the young guys to step up and make a statement."
Kim earned 4,500 FedExCup points to move into fifth on the FedEx Cup list through 29 events with 13,580 points. As a multiple winner this year, he earned a three-year exemption on the PGA Tour that will take him through the 2011 season.
The first-place prize money of $1.08 million moved Kim to fifth on the PGA Tour money list with $3,256,622. His career earnings now stand at $5,139,883.
Although Woods is recovering from knee surgery at home and wasn't at the tournament, he did call to offer his congratulations to Kim.
"I just asked him how his knee was doing and he said he's doing fine," Kim said of his phone conversation with Woods. "He congratulated me, of course, and told me to just keep working hard and keep it up and the sky's the limit and there's no reason to stop now."
Coming from Woods, Kim said those words meant the world to him.
"I get chills down my back when I think about it," Kim said. "I grew up idolizing him. He is the Michael Jordan of golf and to come out 10 years after him and have this opportunity to play in his golf tournament and be on the PGA Tour and live my dream is truly a wonderful feeling."
Jacobson, who recorded his second top-10 of the season and was the runner-up for the second time in 114 career starts on Tour at 10-under 270, said he was impressed with Kim.
"He's got a lot of game," Jacobson told reporters. "He's a great ball-striker — he hits it far.
"So he's a guy that can play really well on tough courses. This is a challenging course like Wachovia where he won earlier in the year."
Kim said playing on courses like Congressional seems to suit him well.
"I know I'm playing quite well right now and I'm thinking well, and it seems like Wachovia and the AT&T here, you had to think your way around the golf course instead of just bomb it and gouge and try to wedge it up there and make a lot of birdies," Kim said. "It was more of a strategic golf course and I seem to do pretty well at those."
Rod Pampling, Jim Furyk, Robert Allenby, Dean Wilson, Nick O'Hern and Tommy Armour III all tied for third at 9-under 271. Alex Cejka, Jeff Overton and Pernice tied for ninth at 8-under 272.
July 7, 2008
Davis Love III, who played the final 57 holes of the Children's Miracle Network Classic without a bogey, finished at 25-under 263 in the season-ending event played at the Walt Disney World Golf Resort in Florida. It has been a long road back for Love, who severely sprained his ankle late last year. After tearing ligaments, he needed surgery, and he's spent much of this year rehabilitating the injury.
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