While we have seen players break clubs in disgust or be forced into unusual equipment situations, rarely does it happen with someone in the top 10 on the leaderboard late in the afternoon on Friday at Augusta National. The 2021 Masters has been tough on many of golf's biggest stars, but Si Woo Kim's frustrations boiled over on the 15th green, and a firm slam of his putter to the ground left him using a wood to finish the hole and subsequently the rest of the round.
There are several reasons for Kim's frustrations despite being in the top 10 and three strokes off the lead at the time of the putter slam. First, and most specifically to the club that was damaged, Kim was coming off a bogey at No. 14 caused by a missed 5-foot par putt. While not technically recorded as a three-putt, Kim used the putter from just off the green for his third shot on the par 4 and then grew frustrated after missing the par save.
Kim then got off to a great start on No. 15, piping a 321-yard drive right down the fairway to give himself a good look at reaching the green in two, only to fly the green on his approach shot. His chip back towards the hole ran right past it to the front edge of the green, and it was after that back-and-forth -- where a potential eagle hole had suddenly become a difficult birdie and possible par -- that he slammed his putter to the ground.
Since he's not allowed to replace the club until after the round, Kim opted for a wood to putt and two-putted his way to a par. He went on to use the same club to nearly bury a 13-foot birdie putt on No. 16 and push a 29-foot birdie try on No. 17 to a tap-in par.
Kim was three strokes off the lead at the time of the putter slam and finished in that same position. I doubt he'll keep the wood as the club of choice when he returns to the course on Saturday, but he did have more bogeys with the putter than he did with the wood.