Rory McIlroy reveals he’s still inspired by golf’s forgotten man

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‘The Tour was a better place with him.’ Who is Rory McIlroy talking about?

The world expected great things when Rory McIlroy made his Masters debut back in 2009, but it was another youngster who stole the limelight that year.

The Ulsterman was paired with Anthony Kim in round 2, and it was the 23-year-old American who made all the headlines on the day, producing a record-breaking 11 birdies.

Kim followed that with a fine Ryder Cup debut at Valhalla and a third-place finish at Augusta the following year, but he was plagued by a series of injuries and was forced to retire in 2012.

Since then, the world of golf has moved on, but McIlroy still draws inspiration from that Friday a decade ago.

“He shot 65, with a double and a couple of bogeys,” recalls McIlroy. “I miss Anthony Kim. The Tour was a better place with him in it. He was exciting.

“The first time I won at Quail Hollow, I played the final round with him. I remember quite a lot about that round.

“You’re trying to focus on what you’re doing, but you can’t help but notice this guy’s going on a bit of a run here, and he could do that. That was something that was pretty cool. You saw him at The Ryder Cup in Valhalla in 2008 doing what he did.

“It was cool to be a part of. It was cool to see. It’s good to know that it can be done.”

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Kim has been the subject of much speculation since his last appearance, but it looks certain now he won’t be adding to his three PGA Tour titles.

He spoke to the Golf Channel in 2015, calling golf a “fond memory” and saying it was possible he’d played his last PGA Tour round.

Recently, it has been reported he is involved in a Dallas-based healthcare business venture with friend and former caddie, Brodie Flanders.

video of Kim’s swing went viral last summer, although it later came out that it was a couple of years old.

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