This was a hell of a way for the new girl in town to introduce herself to Columbus: streaking down the 18th fairway of the Presidents Cup.
After a long, rainy week, that’s precisely what Kimberly — who chose not to give her last name — did on the final day of play at Muirfield Village G.C. on Sunday. After Steve Stricker hit his tee shot into the par-4 18th in his match against Ernie Els, the 23-year-old made her way to the gallery crosswalk, took off her pants and jacket and sprinted toward the tee box and Stricker.
“There he was,” Kimberly said in a telephone interview Monday. “I ran around him, then I ran out of breathe and made a bee-line into the woods.”
Her original goal was to sprint all the way up the finishing hole.
“I work hard,” she said. “I don’t work out hard.”
Turns out, Kimberly had been working hard all week, at the Presidents Cup. She had just moved to Columbus the week prior, leaving Los Angeles after a year to help out her 82-year-old grandmother. Kimberly had made the trek to L.A. on a whim after graduating from community college near where she grew up in Boston and spending a few years in the hospitality industry.
Unable to find a job upon arrival in Ohio, she decided to take a temporary job for the week as a banquet server on the 17th hole at Muirfield Village.
That was where she hatched the idea with some co-workers in the banquet tent. Eventually it grew into more than a joke. It got real when she went to Wal-Mart to buy the heart-shaped, American-flag-patterned pasties the night before.
“It had been raining all week,” she said. “I was trying to put a little excitement in golf.”
It’s a sport she admittedly doesn’t watch much. That may have thrown her original plans for a loop on Sunday.
Kimberly had originally intended to go streaking in front of Tiger Woods, but the thrashing the Americans were putting on the Internationals made her reconsider when the singles pairings were announced Sunday morning.
“We only had to get 3.5 points. I was going to do it with all of the things going on with Tiger over the last few years,” she said. “But I didn’t know if he would get to Hole 17.”
Kimberly had no idea Tiger had clinched the last two Presidents Cup, or that he would clinch this one. Instead, she set her sights on the first singles match.
“I thought ‘Streaking for Stricker’ sounded good,” she explained.
The problem is that she missed her chance to streak on the 17th hole. She had been watching the coverage on TV, not realizing it was being aired on tape delay. She thought Stricker was several holes away when he arrived on the 17th. Then, at the coaxing of some fans, she made her way to the 18th hole. Besides, her work was mostly done for the day, and the week, anyhow.
Then she did it. She didn’t really notice if Stricker, Els or captain Fred Couples, who she ran past, said anything to her.
“Once I was running, I was just kind of in blackout mode, thinking What am I doing?! Keep running!” she said. “The fans were screaming ‘U! S! A!'”
And she almost got away with it, but once she ran into the woods off the 18th hole, the jig was up.
“There were so many thorns, I couldn’t go anywhere,” Kimberly explained.
After the police caught her and draped her in one of their jackets, they took put her in a golf cart and drove to their compound on the grounds. Once at the police station, she was written up for a disorderly conduct misdemeanor, which carries a $99 fine.
“I’d say worth it,” Kimberly said. “My parents would say otherwise.”
Grandma sides with Kimberly, thinking it was a funny stunt.
“We went bar hopping last week,” Kimberly said. “She’s 82. She’s great.”
Kimberly decided to hop on Twitter to gain a little (more) recognition for what she did. As for finding a job now that she’s in the Golf Streaking Hall of Fame?
“I’m looking for a job in Columbus now,” she said. “My mom seems to think I won’t get one now.”