Tom Kim was in trouble at Royal Liverpool on Friday.
After his final putt fell on the 18th green, Kim was very clearly in trouble. He limped heavily and even briefly jumped on his agent’s back to get to the clubhouse.
The 21-year-old was in a lot of pain.
Kim nearly withdrew from the British Open on Friday morning after she slipped and sprained her right ankle at her rental home the night before. Kim said he came out of the patio of the house in Hoylake, England, and slipped on a patch of wet grass. His foot got stuck, and he heard his ankle jump.
“It’s pretty bruised. I can’t really take my shoe off,” Kim said. “I don’t know how I really walked.”
Kim said he was diagnosed with a grade 1 sprain, which is considered a mild sprain, according to the UConn Musculoskeletal Institute. His coach said he wouldn’t do any damage and it was “definitely playable”, and he said he got “tough love” from his team, so he bandaged his ankle and gave it a go.
“I definitely went in there with low expectations of, ‘I don’t know how to hit the golf ball,'” Kim said. “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 with it. … I hit the ball better than yesterday without hurting my foot, so maybe that’s a good thing.
That he has done. Kim posted a 3-under 68 on Friday, which put him tied for the tournament and safely inside the cut line. He birdied four times on his first eight holes of the day and finished his game with seven straight pars.
It took him a few holes, but Kim said the adrenaline eventually “surge” and helped him through the round.
“I barely walk, but it’s cool how I got through it,” he said.
Kim has won twice on the PGA Tour in her career, first at the Wyndham Championship last year and then again at the Shriners Children’s Open earlier this season. He has six top-10 finishes this season, including a T8 at the US Open last month and a T6 last week at the Genesis Scottish Open. He entered this week’s Open ranked 24th in the Official World Golf Rankings. The South Korean also turned heads earlier this spring at the PGA Championship, after taking a literal dip in a stream after falling in the mud mid-round.
Kim is 10 strokes behind 36-hole leader Brian Harman, who took a five-stroke lead over the rest of the field after his round on Friday.
Although the injury looks incredibly painful and there’s no way to avoid stepping on it if he wants to stay in the tournament, Kim is determined to finish the weekend. He said he was going to go home and ice his foot the rest of the night before returning to the course on Saturday.
“It’s just uncomfortable,” Kim said. “I’m not going to give up, it’s just not who I am.”