x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Kim battles back to make the cut

Anthony Kim was able to breathe a sigh of relief today after doing just enough to survive the cut at the Maybank Malaysian Open.

Kim said his improvement was down to his reading of Saujana's slow and grainy greens.
Kim said his improvement was down to his reading of Saujana's slow and grainy greens.

Anthony Kim was able to breathe a sigh of relief today after doing just enough to survive the cut at the Maybank Malaysian Open. The world No 11 is the highest-ranked player in the field at Saujana Golf & Country Club but was in serious danger of missing out on weekend play after signing for a six-over-par 78 in the opening round. But the American, 23, recovered to card a seven-under 65 this morning which helped him to improve to one under for the tournament. Although he had to wait several hours before discovering that his score was right on the cut line, Kim was satisfied with what that he had done in the second round.

"I was pretty embarrassed with how I scored yesterday, not making a birdie and not finding my rhythm out there," he said. "It was important for me and my confidence to come out and play a good round whether or not I made the cut." The key to Kim's improvement was in his reading of Saujana's slow and grainy greens. He said: "I just tried to hit it five feet by the hole and it was perfect speed every time. So I started thinking that I needed to hit it four or five feet past the hole and if I can keep putting like this, I'll be fine. "I needed to make birdies today as the field is not coming back. I played some good golf and fortunately on the back nine some of the putts went in. "The 78 was probably the worst round I've played in a couple of years. It wasn't due to playing poorly but just scoring terrible. "I wasn't too worried about my game, I felt like I was driving the ball good and giving myself 10, 12-footers. You've got to make those putts sooner or later." Having safely negotiated the opening two rounds, Kim expects to go on the attack during the weekend. "I don't think that I've ever been cautious but I'm here to compete as best as I can," he said. "I'm going to attack the flags, hit as many drivers as I can as there are some holes where you can hit driver on. The course sets up well for me if I can hit the driver well. "Nothing is impossible here but you better have some down-grain putts. It's about getting the ball there." *PA Sport