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This is not a drill. Repeat: THIS IS NOT A DRILL!
Anthony Kim is reportedly plotting his return to professional golf after more than a decade in the shadows.
According to Golf.com’s Dylan Dethier, Kim is in discussions with both the PGA Tour and LIV Golf about a sensational – and unanticipated – comeback.
It is understood that the American is weighing up options which include activating his past champion status to play on the PGA Tour or joining LIV, possibly as one of the circuit’s two new wild cards.
The prospect of him either joining a LIV team in 2025, or being given one of his own, has also been floated.
That the now 38-year-old former Ryder Cup winner is being courted by LIV is no surprise. Court documents released in October 2022 as a result of an interrogatory during the Saudi-funded circuit’s now-settled legal battle with the PGA Tour revealed that Kim was one of 179 individuals or organisations to have held discussions relating to LIV since September 2019.
However, per Dethier’s report, right now is the closest Kim has been to returning to the game since he stepped away from the game in 2012.
In June 2012, he had surgery on his Achilles tendon, a procedure that was expected to sideline him for nine to 12 months.
He was eligible to play on tour in 2013 on a major medical extension but didn’t feature. His known appearances in the last ten years, indeed, have been restricted to the occasional charity golf tournament.
It has been widely reported that Kim’s continued absence is as a result of accepting an eight-figure insurance payout in in the event of a career-ending injury. That, of course, would be pocket change to LIV.
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.
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!’”
One thing is for sure: Kim returning would be popular with at least one of his peers.
“I miss Anthony Kim,” said Rory McIlroy ahead of the 2019 Masters. “The tour was a better place with him in it. He was exciting.”
Exciting? Yes. Enigmatic? Undoubtedly. Returning? Time will soon tell.
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