In mid-June, three Cal players took part in the U.S. Open. Michael Kim was able to shine not just among the Bears competing but among the entire field as a whole when he shot up to a tie for third place on Saturday. He finished the tournament at 10 over, making him the low amatuer. Kim spoke to The Daily Californian about his experience at the U.S. Open and about the Cal men’s golf team’s season in general.
On his goals going into the U.S. Open:
My goal was to just make the cut. Merion is a tough course, so I was hoping to just be able to play on Saturday. So I didn’t have a big goal like winning or anything like that. I just wanted to make the cut. And yeah, it felt great once I made it.
On whether nerves affected his play:
Not really. Mostly, I was just focused on my game. I was trying to just have fun and play it like I would any other course. I didn’t feel nervous at the time, but looking back on it now, I probably was. I was trying to just be patient and play well, and I don’t think nerves really had a huge impact.
On his thoughts when he saw his name in a tie for third on the leaderboard:
It was really cool. I just remember thinking that it was really cool. I looked up and saw my name with Mickelson and Donald and other great golfers. And yeah, I don’t know what else to say, except it was just really cool.
On the difficulty of Merion:
I remember thinking in the practice rounds, “Wow, this course is tough.” It might be shorter, but the fairways are narrow, and it’s just hard. And then I got out there on Thursday and was hitting the right shots. But it was always tough. Merion is tough. So it was challenging, but it was also a lot of fun.
On being paired with Rickie Fowler, a golfer who also burst onto the national scene at a young age, on Sunday:
Rickie was focused on his own game, and so was I. We talked a little but not too much. He didn’t really offer any amazing advice.
On the Cal men’s golf team’s season being cut short:
The NCAAs were a disappointment for us, but we still had a great season. It isn’t a huge takeaway from what we accomplished because we know that we were the best team.
On his goals for the future:
The NCAA Championship. We are losing Max (Homa), but I think we can still do it. Definitely the NCAAs.