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The rumours would appear to be true.

Anthony Kim is set to make his return to professional golf at this week’s LIV Golf event in Jeddah.

Multiple sources have indicated to that the enigmatic American will compete in this week’s event in Saudi Arabia – his first competitive appearance since the Wells Fargo Championship in May 2012. This follows several reports on social media over the past few days.

The terms of Kim’s deal have not been disclosed but it is thought that he will feature in multiple LIV events this year, playing as a wild card without an affiliation to any of the 13 league franchises.

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Wild cards were introduced by LIV at the start of the year. Two such players are invited to compete as individuals in each of the regular season events.

Convincing Kim to end his exile from the game – reportedly the result of accepting an eight-figure insurance payout – must surely rank as one of LIV’s biggest coups to date.

In June 2012, he had surgery on his Achilles tendon, a procedure that was expected to sideline him for nine to 12 months. Instead, it kept him out of the game for almost 14 years.

He was eligible to play on tour in 2013 on a major medical extension but didn’t feature. His only known appearances in the last ten years have been in the occasional charity golf tournament.

Once ranked as high as sixth on the OWGR, Kim has maintained a low profile since he turned his back on the tour. He has no social media profile and public sightings of him have been rare.

That, of course, has helped his legend grow.

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Whilst a charismatic and sometimes polarising player, Kim won only three times on the PGA Tour and chalked up only three top-ten finishes in 15 major appearances.

In an April 2019 encounter with a fan in West Hollywood, he described his golf game as “non existent”. Four years before that, he told Associated Press journalist Doug Ferguson that the sport had become a “distant memory”.

However, early in 2021, his long-time swing coach Adam Schriber posted a photo with Kim to social media captioned: “2021 is going to be special.”

In January 2023, Eric Larson – Kim’s caddie from 2008 to 2009 – revealed that he had recently spoken on the phone with him where he floated the prospect of a comeback with LIV.

“He goes, ‘I don’t know. I really don’t know,’” Larson said. “I said, ‘Come on, man, get the old clubs out. Go out there and have some fun.’ And he starts laughing at me. He goes, ‘That’s what everybody wants me to do!’”

Now 38, Kim’s return is sure to draw a fresh set of eyeballs to the LIV Golf League. How will he play? What equipment will he use? What does he look like? Can he be competitive?

It appears that we’ll get answers to all those questions later this week.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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