According to his captain, U.S. golfer Anthony Kim was "crushed" by comments from Robert Allenby, his opponent Sunday at the Presidents Cup. Allenby alleged that Kim was out on the town until the wee hours of the morning on Saturday night, rather than preparing for their singles match.
"I promise you, there's no way you can go out and beat a guy like Robert Allenby 5 and 3 if you're out until 4 in the morning. There's just no way," Fred Couples told Seattle radio station 950 KJR-AM in an interview Wednesday on its "Mitch in the Morning" show. "It kind of crushed him. It was the best week that he ever had and those comments kind of crushed him."
The controversy began after Kim, 24, beat Allenby of the International team as part of the U.S. team's 19½-14½ win to retain the cup. After the match, Allenby said he'd heard Kim arrived back at the hotel "sideways."
"Maybe we should all take the theory of Anthony Kim," Allenby said, according to Golf Week. "Get home at 4 o'clock [in the morning] and then go shoot 6 under."
"Absolutely false," Kim said, according to Golf World. "I was at the hotel, had dinner with the team, met my buddies for about 20 minutes, then went straight to my room. I was in tip-top shape. If Robert had that to say, he maybe needs to practice a little more."
"While I feel like the comments published were taken out of context, I did call Anthony to apologize for anything that I said or inferred that could possibly portray Anthony as anything less than a professional of the highest caliber," Allenby said.
Kim said he accepted the apology and "we are both moving on."
Kim's behavior was the subject of whispers throughout the week. Allenby called him "the loosest cannon in that team," according to Golf Week. There were rumors that Kim was sent to his room, and then asked to return to the U.S. team room. Couples downplayed the reports, saying Kim spent most of his time "working out," according to his interview with KJR, and spending time with a college roommate.
"I can promise you that he was not out any night, let alone Saturday night," Couples told KJR.
Allenby also reportedly called Kim golf's "current John Daly." Daly, responding to a question from The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia, said Wednesday, "I'm not gonna bust Robert that bad. A lot of players have said things in the heat of the moment.''
Kim won three of his four Presidents Cup matches. This comes on the heels of a tough 2009 season for Kim, who fell from sixth to 32nd on the PGA Tour money list. He didn't win a tournament after winning two in 2008.
Couples said he told Kim he had to "let it go under the rug quick."
Allenby and Kim could face each other again. Both are scheduled to play the Volvo World Match Play Championship in Spain at the end of the month.
Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.