AUGUSTA — After a first-round 75 in near-perfect conditions, you might have given up on young American Anthony Kim's chances at this year's Masters.
Evidently all Kim needed was a little breeze — OK, a lot of breeze — to feel at home.
Kim carded a 7-under 65 in the second round Friday — a walk around Augusta National that included a Masters-record 11 birdies.
Despite much more trying winds Friday, it matched the best round of the week at the tournament's halfway mark.
"It feels like a 58 right now," Kim said. "I just tried to stay steady. ...The first goal is to make the cut, and then make a run on Saturday and Sunday. The putts kept falling, so I just kept walking them in and going to the next hole."
The 23-year-old Kim would've moved even closer to the lead — and probably broken the course record of 63 — if he didn't play holes 9 and 10 at 3 over, including a double on the difficult par-4 10th.
Kim said he was inspired by the life and death of Nick Adenhart, the young Los Angeles Angels pitcher who was killed earlier this week in a car accident. The tragic tale provided a carpe diem sort of feeling for a golfer thousands of miles away.
"I said, 'Look, it's been a dream of mine to be at the Masters my whole life,' " Kim said, " 'And there's no reason to pout about a bogey or a three-putt.' I wanted to enjoy being out here. ... I think that's what made the 11 birdies a lot easier."
A trio of players, amateur Drew Kittleson and contenders Tim Clark and Hunter Mahan, also experienced extremes in their second rounds. But their highs didn't rise quite as much as Kim's.
Clark started the day at 4 under. He dropped back to level par before playing the final six holes 5-under par.
The back nine went like this for Kittleson, the Florida State sophomore who shot 72 on Friday but will miss the cut: Bogey, eagle, triple bogey, bogey, par, eagle, bogey, par, par for a 38.
Mahan, who had a double and a triple at the par-3 12th, described his ride as "bumpy."
A stroke off the lead coming in, Mahan shot 75 to fall to 3 under.
"I just hit some dumb shots," said Mahan, still in a tie for 10th entering the weekend.
Masters of the Masters
Two Masters champs, three-time winner Gary Player and 1979 winner Fuzzy Zoeller, made their final strolls up the 18th fairway Friday.
In his 52nd Masters, the 73-year-old Player finished 17 over — last in the field. But the ovation he received was as loud as anyone.
Fellow South Africans Trevor Immelman, the defending champion, and Rory Sabbatini were also among those who watched Player close out his Masters career.
"He's one of the best golfers to ever live," said Dustin Johnson, who played in the group ahead of Player and stuck around to watch him finish. "It was pretty cool to see him come up for the last time on 18."
Player has hinted strongly — make that lobbied — to join Arnold Palmer in hitting the ceremonial opening shot for next year's tournament.
Tears streamed from underneath Zoeller's trademark shades as he finished a second-round 76 that left him well beyond the cut line. His daughter Gretchen, caddieing for him this week, shed tears as well.
Zoeller, who won the Masters in his first start 30 years ago, did birdie both par 3s on his final nine as a contestant.
Miserable day for Mize
Larry Mize, the 50-year-old from Augusta who won the 1987 Masters, shocked everyone Thursday when he shot a 5-under-par 67 to snag a spot high on the leaderboard in the Masters.
But, in the tougher conditions, Mize came to earth Friday with a 4-over 76.
His tee shot on the first hole landed against a tree on the left side of the hole and he walked away with a double bogey. Mize birdied the next two holes, but had four more bogeys on the way in.
"I made a couple of mental mistakes which happens out here and didn't putt as well as I did yesterday and it turns into a 76," Mize said. "I was just a little off-balance today."
After a second-round 75, following up Thursday's 79, the week is over for 39-year-old Mississippi gas station owner Steve Wilson.
His second trip around Augusta National included just as many nerves as the first.
"It never goes away," said Wilson, who played with 1977 Masters champ Tom Watson. "I guess that's just what playing in the Masters feels like."
Wilson, who owns a few BPs in Ocean Springs, Miss., qualified by winning the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship last fall.
This year's Mid-Am will be held Oct. 3-8 at Kiawah's Cassique Course.
Good 'ol boys
Missing the cut didn't bother a couple of guys.
Boo Weekley crossed paths with Zoeller on the course Friday and had this exchange.
Boo: "Hey, where are we partying at tonight?"
Fuzzy: "Can you?"
Boo: "I don't know. If I can get rid of the family."
1988 champ Sandy Lyle is quietly at 2 under for the weekend after shooting 70 on Friday. ... Six countries (four Americans) were represented in the top 10 on the big board inside the course's expansive media room. ... Among the dignitaries at Friday's second round was NBA Hall of Famer Julius Erving. Dr. J is involved in golf ventures in the Atlanta area.