Failed ‘Pond Skip’ Can’t Dampen Tom Kim’s Masters Enthusiasm

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Regardless of how Tom Kim’s first Masters turns out, he’ll leave Augusta National with some great memories.

Getting invited to play a practice round with Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Fred Couples before a coveted major tournament will do that for a budding 20-year-old star.

“A dream come true,” Kim said Tuesday of his Monday practice round that included a little bit of traditional tomfoolery on the par-3 16th hole.

At Woods’ urging, all four golfers simultaneously attempted to skip their golf balls across the pond and onto the green. While the other three managed to get their balls to hop across the water, Kim misfired, sending a line drive over the pond where it hit the green and kept on going.

Looking back, Kim could only chuckle at his failed attempt.

“I tried to hit it a little low and just airmailed the green,” said Kim, who won twice on the PGA Tour last year. “It didn’t come out low enough. I hit it pin-high, and I’m just glad I didn’t hit anyone.”

But Kim wasn’t going to let a failed trick shot ruin his day.

His first memories of the Masters are of Woods’ famous chip in on that same hole in 2005 when the five-time champion got his Nike ball to bend along the gentle slope of the green before coming to rest on the edge of the cup and then falling in, setting off a raucous celebration.

“For as long as I can remember, that was the biggest thing,” Kim said of Woods’ epic birdie.

Now Kim has his own memory from 16 to cherish.

“It was a dream come true for me, really,” Kim said. “My first memory of just watching golf was the Masters and Tiger winning it, and for me to be able to share my first official practice round with him was a dream come true. And to not just play with Tiger but to have Fred Couples and Rory join us, it was a dream.”