HOYLAKE, England — After posting a 3-under 68 in the second round of the Open Championship on Friday, Tom Kim had one big concern: Finding a wheelchair to help him get to Royal Liverpool Golf Club’s clubhouse.
Kim, the 24th-ranked player in the world, said he nearly had to pull out of The Open after severely spraining his right ankle in a freak accident at his rental home on Thursday night. The South Korean said he was stepping off the patio and slipped on a wet patch of grass.
“It’s a very unfortunate thing,” Kim said. “It’s pretty bruised. I can’t take off my shoe really. I don’t know how I really walked. But once the adrenaline popped in I got away with it. Now, I’m surviving.”
Kim, 21, said he heard his ankle pop and was diagnosed with a grade-1 tear. He said his ankle is swollen and bruised, which made it difficult for him to put on and remove his spikes.
“I was very close to calling it off and not playing today — just get home and try to see a doctor because it’s pretty bruised,” Kim said. “I got some tough love from my team, and I was told to suck it up.”
Kim said his trainer assured him that he wouldn’t do further damage by playing on the sprained ankle. His trainer taped the ankle and told him that the pain would subside after he warmed up and adrenaline took over.
“I definitely went out there with low expectations of I don’t know how to hit the golf ball,” Kim said. “It was definitely a lot of half-swings. Once I started to warm up and get more comfortable with it, I was able to play around with it.”
Kim, who is at even par after 36 holes, said his recovery would include soaking his foot in an ice bath and receiving more treatment.
Kim said he expects to be back on the course Saturday.
“I taped it up a lot where it’s not going to get worse,” Kim said. “It’s just uncomfortable. I’m not going to give up. It’s just not who I am.”