Three-under 69 makes Anthony Kim relevant … for at least one day

There are plenty of guys on the PGA Tour struggling to find their golf game at the moment, but it's safe to say nobody has struggled more than Anthony Kim over the past year-plus.

Once tabbed as the guy to take on Tiger Woods following a two-win season in 2008, the last three years have been a roller coaster of emotions for Kim, who went from losing his game in 2009 to finding it 2010 ... to then completely falling off the face of the earth in 2011.

Nobody, not even Kim, knew what this year held. But after six starts, it was clear his game was headed in one direction -- and that was down. Way down. With five missed cuts, 1 DQ and a 42nd place finish, his game officially hit an all-time low.

Throw in last season's 11 missed cuts (in 26 events) and you're looking at stretch of golf that would make most players reassess every aspect of their game. Anthony Kim tried doing that, but for some reason he didn't see a single positive result until Thursday's opening round 3-under 69 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational that put him three back of the lead.

"I've been running my head into a brick wall," Kim said after his round. "So I moved away from the brick wall, and now I can swing and make some birdies out here."

He certainly made some birdies during his round, carding five to go along with a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th that saw him go out (he started on the back nine) in 4-under 32. The nine-hole stretch included four birdies, a hole-in-one, two bogeys ... and just two pars.

It was unconventional, sure, but nothing Kim has done recently has followed a script. The guy seems to be winging it at the moment, and it looks like he'll continue to do just that until he starts stringing together made cuts.

Forget wins or top 10 finishes at this point, Anthony Kim should just be worried about making the weekend. He looks to be well on his way to picking up his second cut of the season, but considering how erratic his game has been recently, you can't be sure what he's going to post tomorrow.

For the moment, at least we can talk about Kim being in contention again. The guy has so much talent, it's a shame we have to criticize his recent play. But until he gives us a reason to believe in him once again, we have a right to be extremely skeptical about his game. Hopefully that changes in the not-too-distant future.

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