'I Played Much Better Than The Score' - Anthony Kim Reacts To His Opening Round At LIV Golf Jeddah

The latest LIV signing shot six-over at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in his first competitive round in more than a decade

Anthony Kim smiles during round one of LIV Golf Jeddah 2024
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Despite shooting an opening-round 76 at LIV Golf Jeddah and sitting dead last in the field of 54, Anthony Kim insisted there was plenty to be happy with after completing his first competitive day in more than a decade.

Kicked off by a disappointing bogey on the par-5 18th, which was not helped by Kim topping his second shot, the 38-year-old's debut round as a LIV player began in extremely encouraging fashion via a litter of pars throughout the first few holes at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club.

However, a dreaded "all-world shank" on the fifth hole - Kim's sixth - put the American in a trick position for a while as a bogey there instigated a sequence of four in five - punctuated by his only birdie of the day on the sixth hole, Kim's seventh.

At four-over with eight holes remaining and hardly a plethora of recent experience to rely on, many would have been unsurprised to see Kim phone it in and finish well inside the 80s.

But the American is apparently made of sterner stuff, and Kim rallied to stop the bleeding somewhat while finishing on six-over with half-a-dozen pars.

Reacting to his day's work afterwards, Kim said: "[I'm] obviously disappointed with the score, but I played much better than the score. I've got a lot to build on. Just made a lot of unforced errors, and that was unfortunate, but I feel like I'm not that far away."

The phrase 'unforced errors' pitched up a total of five times in Kim's relatively short post-round musings, a clear indicator that he felt his own rustiness was the main factor behind him being unable to truly compete just yet.

Kim continued: "I would be lying to say that I didn't have certain expectations. At least even if I played bad, I thought I would shoot around par.

"It was unfortunate that I made so many unforced errors from the middle of the fairway. That's generally my strength is my iron game. To make so many unforced errors is really disappointing. I've got a lot to build on, and I'm looking forward to the next two days.

"Right now, I'm just focused on trying to hit good shots as opposed to comparing my game to other people. I think that will come over the next few tournaments. But right now, I'm just trying to take it one shot at a time, as cliche as that is."

And how did he feel, being stood on the first tee with something riding on his actions over the next few hours? As it turns out, rather than being nervous, Kim was actively looking forward to being out there again.

On his pre-first tee emotions, Kim said: "It was a feeling I hadn't felt before. I was very excited to go get it done. Fairway looked very narrow, so to be able to hit the fairway was nice.

"Got off to a good start, and then made an unforced error with my second shot. Just too many unforced errors. But really played better than the score, and I know I can clean that up pretty quickly."

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.