Oak Hill Country Club is known for running Allen Creek through the course.
It is a natural hazard intended to swallow golf balls, not actual golfers. Tom Kim played the creek differently than most at the PGA Championship on Thursday.
Kim was told that his ball crossed the water and that he could play the ball if he found it in a muddy bog. He took off his shoes and stockings and rolled his pants over his knees. Then Kim climbed into the swampy creek bed, sinking like quicksand and covered in mud.
“Once I got in, it was kind of a drawing,” Kim said in a post-tour interview with Michael Ives on ESPN. “It’s a major championship. I fight for every stroke. Then it got dark. Once I got on my feet, there was no looking back.”
Kim sank further and had to crawl out of the mud.
The opening round started with a frostbite delay but the tough Rochesterians dressed in layers. Kim brought layers too.
He returned to the creek to clean up, grabbed a towel from his caddy and then changed his jersey to be a track jacket before his next shot.
“I’ve had better days,” Kim laughed. “It got to my waist. It couldn’t have gotten any worse. I was wet enough so I thought I might go into the water and take a shower.”
“Oh my gosh, this is absolutely amazing,” the English television presenters laughed as Kim was shown emerging from the thick grass with mud covering his clothes and arms. “This made my day.”
Kim is told after signing his scorecard and exiting the tent that the video of his mud bath has gone viral.
“Everyone knows?” He said. “Oh, my God.”
It was a long day in Oak Hill after a two hour frost delay for the start of the tournament and a dark halt to play with 30 players still needing to finish the round. ESPN played the song Closing Time showing Kim’s mishap.
Kim finished equal but +100 online.
“Alcohol enthusiast. Twitter ninja. Tv lover. Falls down a lot. Hipster-friendly coffee geek.”