Here's Why Anthony Kim Should Not Receive Any Special Treatment
If we are to believe everything we read then there is a bidding war going on between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to secure the signature of Anthony Kim. For the life of me, I do not understand why.
Apparently, one of the sticking points about a return to the PGA Tour revolves around a $10m insurance policy that would be void if he returned to the fray. It is rumoured that LIV have offered to pay that sum, and that’s just for starters.
However, if Kim is expecting LIV to offer him telephone numbers he may well be disappointed. They “only” paid Tyrrell Hatton £50m to defect and he is one of the world’s best golfers. Quite frankly, Kim cannot possibly be classed in anything like the same bracket and cannot possibly expect to be offered anything like the sums that LIV’s leading lights are being paid.
Social media lit up when it was first reported that Kim was planning an unlikely comeback. He is a player whose star briefly shined brightly before he chose to abandon the sport while at the peak of his powers. By his own admission, he grew tired of the grind, of the travel and of the hard work required to remain at the top of the game. He had injury problems and did not enjoy the rehab required to get back to full fitness. And he preferred to party. So he walked away.
So what did he achieve? In 122 starts he won three times, finished second four times, third seven times and had 17 top-10 finishes. He earned $12.2m in prize money and probably at least the same again in endorsements. Make no mistake, he was a decent player.
His final season on tour was 2012, when he made 10 starts, missed four cuts, was disqualified once and withdrew from his final three tournaments. And that was it. He was done.
He played in the Ryder Cup in 2008 and the Presidents Cup the following year, although he was most famous for his personalised belt buckles. And he made most headlines at the Presidents Cup in 2009 not for his play on the course but for partying until 4am.
Maybe it all came too easy for Kim. After 2012 he effectively vanished from the face of the earth as far as the world of golf was concerned.
So what do we know about what has happened to him since?
In June 2012, he had surgery after injuring the Achilles tendon in his left leg and was expected to miss nine to 12 months. Kim was eligible for the 2013 season on a Major Medical Exemption, but he failed to reappear.
In April 2014, the Golf Channel reported that Kim no longer played golf, In 2016, he played in a number of charity events, but said he was not ready to play professionally again. He also cited ongoing physical therapy and numerous surgeries as the reasons for delaying his return
In April 2019, during an encounter with a fan in West Hollywood, California, Kim referred to his golf game as "non-existent". On January 1, 2021, Adam Schriber, his long-time coach, posted a photo of the two in front of the Dallas skyline with the caption "2021 is going to be special”. Whatever he was referring to, it clearly had nothing to do with golf.
He is now 38 years old and there will be huge interest in any comeback that he chooses to make in much the same way that people cannot take their eyes off a car crash. Kim has not played a competitive round of golf for nearly 12 years and there is absolutely no reason that anybody should believe he would be a fraction of the player he once was.
And yes, I will be watching if it happens. But he chose to walk away from the game and I strongly believe that if he is to be allowed to return to the PGA Tour then he should first have to prove himself on the Korn Ferry Tour.
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