Outside The Ropes

In the clubhouse with world No. 89 Christina Kim

ST PHOTO: ALVIN CHIA

Christina Kim, 32
United States
3 LPGA wins

Q: No. 1 golf tip for amateurs?

A: Keep your head down. Players tend to lift their heads up to see where the ball goes before they finish hitting it.

Q: Worst rule in golf?

A: When you hit yourself with a ball and you get a penalty for it. At the 2006 Lotte Championship on the third hole, I was trying to hit a punt shot and then I hit it too low. It hit a tree stump and it ricocheted at full power and hit me really hard on my left shin (and) I started crying. Then the officials told me I picked up two shots. After that incident, I try to hit my shots higher (laughs).

Q: Funniest thing you've seen on the Tour?

A: It was something embarrassing that happened to me at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in 2006.

I went to practise my putting by myself before my tee-off in the afternoon. I bent down to reach into my golf bag to get my golf balls and my pants ripped from the back. Thankfully, I was alone at the putting green and nobody saw me. I wrapped a towel around my waist and quickly went back to the on-site hotel to change.

Q: What did you buy with your first serious pay cheque?

A: At the end of 2003, I earned about US$54,000 (S$76,000). I bought a car, a powder-blue Honda Civic, which I named Vanessa, for about US$18,000.

Q: Who is your favourite male athlete?

A: Roger Federer. He is so classy and does everything right. He is cool as ice but friendly and kind to everyone. He's just like Amy Yang.

Q: Most underrated golfer?

A: Catriona Matthew. She is just so good at everything. Her swings are good, she is incredibly hard-working, and don't forget - she is 47.

Q: What is the hardest thing about golf?

A: Putting. You can hit three shots over (a total of) 600 yards and you can take the same number of shots to hit the ball in from five feet. Putting requires a lot of finesse.

Alvin Chia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2017, with the headline 'In the clubhouse with world No. 89 Christina Kim'. Print Edition | Subscribe