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Si Woo Kim, following 87, WDs with back injury at American Express

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

By Joel Beall
Si Woo Kim’s stay in La Quinta was short. But it was adventurous.

Kim, 24, withdrew from the American Express on Thursday after shooting a 15-over 87 in Round 1 at the Nicklaus Course. It was a score that garnered its share of glances; the former Bob Hope Classic annually boasts one of the easier set-ups on the PGA Tour, and Thursday’s action lived up to the billing as 48 players shot 68 or better.

Kim’s round was nine shots higher than the nearest competitor on the day. A round that included a quadruple bogey, three triples and a double, with Kim making the turn in 46 strokes.

So what happened? Kim’s back injury, which has troubled him throughout his career, apparently resurfaced. After turning in his card Kim pulled out of the event, citing the aforementioned woes.

Since winning the Players Championship in 2017, the South Korean has dropped from No. 28 in the world rankings to his current position of No. 107. Kim has especially struggled over the past eight months, missing the cut in nine of his last 13 starts last season and just one top 30 finish in eight appearances this campaign.

Though it was Kim’s eighth WD in just 139 starts on Tour, it was his first since the 2017 PGA Championship.

Kim was not the lone WD. Nate Lashley (77), citing a wrist issue, also bowed out.

 

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