Reports have emerged that Anthony Kim will be making his return to professional golf after more than a decade away.
Kim was the game’s biggest emerging star after bursting onto the scene in 2006, finishing second on his first start.
In 2008, however, Kim had a breakthrough season, winning twice on the PGA TOUR, recording seven more top-10 finishes which included T3 at the TOUR Championship (which saw him climb to number six in the world) and T7 at The Open.
The year climaxed with a Ryder Cup win, in which the rookie took 2.5 points from four matches and included his dismantling of Sergio Garcia on Sunday, winning 5&4.
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After an injury sustained in 2010, Kim spent time away from the game, returning before the end of the year and playing throughout the 2011 season.
However, sustained fitness issues meant Kim appeared in only 10 tournaments in 2012, where he had four WDs and four missed cuts, later having surgery on an injured Achilles’ that he never returned from.
While the golfing world clamoured to know when Kim would return, reports suggested that Kim was no longer even playing the game casually in 2014, and that his game was ‘non-existent’ in 2019.
Kim’s last appearance was at the Wells Fargo Championship in 2012, where he withdrew on the Friday, citing pain in his right, elbow and thumb.
It’s unclear at the moment whether Kim will elect to play on the PGA TOUR or join LIV Golf.
While Kim wouldn’t be short of sponsors’ exemptions on the PGA TOUR and could play some events as a past champion, he’d likely have to go through Q-School at the end of the season in order to regain his PGA TOUR card.
Kim would also likely receive an offer from LIV Golf, which would assure guaranteed money as well as gentler competition to ease his way back into competitive golf.
Anthony Kim has won three PGA TOUR events: the Wachovia Championship in 2008, the AT&T National two months later, and the Shell Houston Open in 2010, the latter seeing him join an exclusive club of players including Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to have won three PGA TOUR events before their 25th birthday.
Anthony Kim’s performances in 2008 saw him qualify automatically for the US Ryder Cup team.
Kim went unbeaten on the Friday playing twice with Phil Mickelson, losing to Henrik Stenson and Oliver Wilson on the Saturday.
Kim was then sent out first on Sunday to play Sergio Garcia in singles. Garcia at this point was the European team’s talisman, and going into the 2008 Ryder Cup had a record in foursomes and four-balls of 13-1-2.
But Kim lived up to his promise to captain Davis Love III that he’d ‘whoop’ Garcia, winning 5&4 – the biggest victory as a rookie since David Duval nine years earlier.
Anthony Kim competed in 15 majors, record top-10s at The Open in 2008, the Masters in 2010 and The Open again in 2011. Kim made the cut in 11 of 15 major appearances, missing the cut in four.