Tuesday, May 06, 2008

O'Meara: Kim's swing better than Tiger's at 22

When new Wachovia champion Anthony Kim came to realize his approach to the PGA Tour wasn’t working – he admitted he didn’t work hard enough as a rookie last year and thought he was good enough to walk in and win – he sought the advice of veteran players.

One of those was Mark O’Meara, who served as Tiger Woods’ mentor more than a decade ago.

O’Meara was asked about Kim earlier this year at the Buick Invitational and here are some of the things he said:

  • “Everybody asks who’s the next young player to come along. I see a lot of talented young players. Nothing really jumped out at me until I played with this kid. I played three rounds with Anthony (late last year) in Naples and I was blown away. … I was like, whoa, this guy has got some game because he plays the little shots. He wants to win. He’s got a little bit of an attitude but he’s grown up a lot. I think he’s learned by some things that happened to him last year.”
  • “He knows he’s made some mistakes. He’s willing to change and become a better person and a better player…I just conveyed to Anthony that I’ve been around the game a long time. I’m not an expert but I’ve watched and seen a lot. But you’ve got as much talent or more than any other player I’ve ever seen besides Tiger and I believe that.”
  • “At 21, 22 Tiger had already won six tournaments. I think Tiger’s mental game was probably stronger. I think actual technique-wise, swing-wise, I reckon Anthony’s swing is better at 21, 22 than what Tiger’s was. But just because you have a good swing and hit the ball well doesn’t mean that you’re going to win tournaments. We’ve seen that.”