Michael Kim had missed six out of seven cuts and changed coaches when he showed up at the John Deere Classic last year. He broke the tournament record at 27-under 257 and won by eight shots, matching Dustin Johnson and Francesco Molinari for the largest victory margin of the season.
And then it was as if the week never happened.
Kim flew straight to Carnoustie for the British Open, where he tied for 35th. Since then, he has made only one 36-hole cut, at the Safeway Open. He is credited for making three other cuts in Malaysia, South Korea and Kapalua — tournaments that had no cut.
As he prepares to defend his title, Kim has missed the cut in all 17 tournaments he has played since the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
During the John Deere Classic preview in May, Kim focused more on the two-year exemption that gave him time to work on the changes in his swing with John Tillery. The objective is "to have more weeks like I did at the Deere more consistently."
"It's taken a little longer than I hoped or wished, but it's kind of the ultimate one step back to go two steps forward," Kim said. "I'm content with finding where my game is starting to head and I'm excited for the second half. Obviously, I'd like to play better. Everyone wants to play better. But looking at the latter half of this year and also the upcoming year, I'm excited to see where my game will be."