Surprise call stuns PGA officials
WHEN K T Kim came calling the organisers of the Australian PGA Championship could hardly believe their luck.
It was confirmed yesterday the South Korean Presidents Cup star would be a late inclusion at the $1.5 million event at Hyatt Regency Coolum starting on Thursday.
Kim's addition is the cherry on top of what is already a stellar field headlined by Darren Clarke, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy, Jason Day, Bubba Watson and YE Yang.
PGA general manager of commercial and marketing Anthony Wright told the Daily that Kim courted tournament organisers and not the other way around as per standard practice.
"KT asked us if he could play about two weeks ago. It's the phone call you dream of getting," Wright said.
"As with a lot of people, he had just heard a lot of good things about the Sunshine Coast and the Hyatt Coolum.
"And you see today, tomorrow and Wednesday before the tournament starts, they're all organising a half-day on the golf course and the other half of the day they'll be out at the beach or at a variety of other things you can do."
Before last weekend's Presidents Cup, many Australians - including Internationals captain Norman - had not seen Kim play.
Kim had a standout 2011 on the Japan Tour with 10 top-10 finishes from 11 starts including one win.
He had a disappointing start to the Presidents Cup, failing to win a point on the opening two days, before winning an epic fourball battle alongside countryman YE Yang with Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson on Saturday and beating Webb Simpson in Sunday's singles.
"It's going to be an exciting tournament," Wright said.
"It was pretty evident for everyone watching the Presidents Cup that KT was a real drawcard because people didn't know him, they were excited to see what he could do.
"(Sunday) you only have to look at what happened, Greg Norman gave him a big hug. I think he'll be really popular this week."