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Four days after he almost stole the Masters, a week and a half after he won in Houston to reclaim the unofficial title as golf's most talented tease, Anthony Kim was sprawled on a couch at his house in Dallas, watching SportsCenter. Lounging on the surrounding furniture were Kim's omnipresent wingmen: Brodie Flanders, his chaperone during a long-ago recruiting trip to the University of Oklahoma, who is now in his first year as Kim's caddie; Stephen Ferguson, a friend who has become Kim's paid personal assistant; and Ryan Todey, a pal dating to junior golf in Southern California. Also hanging out was Rocky, a pit bull who thinks he's a lap dog. Flanders and Ferguson live with Kim in his 10,000-square-foot bachelor pad, which has so many TVs no one can provide an accurate count.
"Just say a dozen," says Kim, 24. "That's close enough." Todey has pretty much moved in too, despite a couple of niggling details like a girlfriend and an apartment back in Santa Barbara. "She's great," says Kim of the faraway girlfriend. "This is greater." Todey does not seem overly concerned about being reunited with his personal effects. "AK called me one time and said, 'I need you to get on a plane to Las Vegas in an hour and a half,'" says Todey, a sometimes bartender who also puts in cameos at his father's car dealership. "I just left my desk at work and went straight to the airport, without even a toothbrush. It was fine. Things always seem to work out when you're with [Kim]."
Like Rocky, Kim is a social creature with a need for constant companionship. Upon returning from Augusta, he gathered his boys for what he calls "a fireside chat." He went practically shot by shot through his spectacular final-round 65, during which he relentlessly attacked Augusta National. A birdie, birdie, eagle, birdie surge midway through the back nine got Kim within a stroke of the lead, but he ran out of holes and settled for third place in a performance that has the golf cognoscenti already fitting him for a green jacket. "The guys wanted to know what I was thinking, what I was feeling," says Kim. "It was cool to share it with them, to feel how much they cared and were pulling for me. Of course, I was more interested in what they had been doing while I was away."
Plenty, at least in Ferguson's case. He didn't make it to Augusta because he was on dog-sitting duty in Dallas. Also on the to-do list Kim left behind was overseeing the construction of a fire pit in the huge backyard and taking care of their shared fleet of cars, including a new black-on-black Bentley Continental GTC convertible, flossed out with 22-inch rims. "I wanted a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, but I made a team decision," says Kim. "I had to get something with four seats so these guys can ride with me."
Stop us if you've heard this before: four old friends with fancy toys in a too-big house, all drafting off the singular talents of one charismatic member of the crew. Kim and his buddies reluctantly acknowledge how life can imitate art. "Everywhere we go, people bring up Entourage," says Kim.
"Unfortunately," adds Flanders.
Viewers of the popular HBO show know that an enduring theme is how the power of celebrity can aid not only a bona fide star but also his buddies in the pursuit of pleasure. On a counter in Kim's vast kitchen is a laptop computer that appears to be used primarily to peruse the Facebook photos of comely young women. The tossed-off commentary sounds like snippets of Turtle's dialogue:
"Check it out, this is the girl we met the other night. She's good-looking, but I couldn't stop staring at her teeth—look at them, they're huge! She looks like a beaver!"
A few clicks brought up another profile.
"This chick is a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. She says, 'I'm a DCC.' I was like, 'Did you really just say that? Out loud?'"