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Anthony Kim preparing to return at LIV Golf event, per report

In Sports
February 25, 2024
Anthony Kim in 2011. (Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Anthony Kim in 2011. (Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Golf’s most famous what-if story of the 21st century might just be returning.

Anthony Kim, the PGA Tour’s runaway star of the early 2010s, is reportedly close to striking a deal to play for LIV Golf, according to the Golf Channel. Kim, 38, has not played in a professional tournament — and, indeed, has rarely even been seen in public — since 2012.

Kim left the game after having surgery on a ruptured Achilles tendon in 2012. He has apparently stayed on the sidelines, according to reports through the years, because of a $10 million insurance policy that would void if he returned to the game. But $10 million is an opening ante for LIV Golf, the Saudi-backed breakaway tour that has thrown hundreds of millions at many of the best, and most colorful, players in the game over the last two-plus years.

If he joins LIV, Kim would be one of two “wild cards” not affiliated with any of LIV’s 13 four-man teams. Wild-card players on the LIV tour can compete for individual titles and awards, with the possibility of joining a team at some point in the future.

Kim won three PGA Tour events over six seasons on tour. But the larger impact he had on the game was one of personality; he brought to golf a party-bro swagger that catered to a younger audience exactly at the moment Tiger Woods was out of the spotlight because of off-course revelations and on-course injury. Since he vanished from the scene, sightings of Kim at various driving ranges have popped up every few years, leading to speculation that he might be preparing for a return to the game, setting the stage for a possible announcement this week.

Kim did have talent — he still holds the record for birdies in a single round at the Masters with 11, set in 2009. But the question of how much of that talent remains a decade-plus later would be fascinating to watch.

LIV’s upcoming event is next weekend in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with another to follow the next week in Hong Kong.

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