Anthony Kim says Las Vegas party was exaggerated

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Part of Anthony Kim’s charm is that he doesn’t quite understand the golf world’s obsession with him. The PGA Tour’s most gossiped-about player lives in his own little bubble, surrounded by old friends and largely oblivious to what is being said and written. “I never read the Internet,” he told me Friday morning, calling from his bachelor pad in Dallas. “Why would I? There’s so much ridiculous stuff on there. The only time I read something is when friends send me negative stories. I use those for motivation.”

He should now have plenty of that. Earlier this week Kim created a minor media frenzy when reports of a wild night out in Las Vegas coincided with the news that he had withdrawn from Justin Timberlake’s tournament. This was of a piece with Kim’s longstanding reputation as golf’s wild child, a rep he clearly earned early in his career but is now trying to outgrow. “I’m not going to deny my friends and I went out and had a great time in Vegas,” says Kim, 25. “But that had absolutely nothing to do with me having to W/D. People may not want to believe that, but it’s true.”

Kim was extremely motivated to play well in Las Vegas. He and Timberlake are long-standing buddies, but more significantly, this was to be AK’s return to competition after a six-week break spent rehabbing his surgically repaired left thumb and fine-tuning his game and equipment. Two weeks ago he worked with Nike’s club gurus to dial in a new driver and tweak his wedges. Kim then spent the week leading up to Vegas working on his game alone in Palm Springs. “I was in the gym every day at 5 a.m., then I’d head straight to the range, then I’d go play 36 holes, then I’d chip and putt,” he says. “Of course, nobody sees that.”

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