Anthony Kim’s not living under a bridge
If you’ve read this blog at any point, or if you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me talk about Anthony Kim in an attempt to figure out where the hell he’s been over the last couple of years. Well, thanks to John Hawkins at Golf Channel, we actually have an answer. Kinda.
Just a little bit of background on Kim. After becoming one of the few players in PGA Tour history to pick up three wins before turning 25 and looking like the next big American golf star, Kim went into a bit of a funk, which really wasn’t cause for much concern because, you know, golf is hard. From the back half of 2010 through 2011, there were a few decent finishes, including a tie for fifth at the 2011 Open Championship, but for the most part, there wasn’t much going on. Then came 2012 and Kim really didn’t look anything like the player we saw a few years prior.
- Humana Challenge: MC (70-70-77)
- Farmers Insurance Open: MC (76-75)
- Phoenix Open: MC (69-74)
- Northern Trust: DQ (78 – signed an incorrect scorecard)
- Honda Classic: T42 (70-69-75-69)
- Transitions Championship: MC (74-70)
- Arnold Palmer Invitational T66 (69-74-72-83)
- Houston Open: WD (79)
- Wells Fargo Championship: WD (74)
That WD at the Wells Fargo nearly two years ago today was the last time that anyone has seen Kim on the PGA Tour. Kim announced he was taking time off because of tendinitis in his left arm and then he tore his Achilles while rehabbing, and while we’ve heard snippets about what he’s been up to, no one has really heard much of anything. I recommend reading Hawkins’ piece above where he talks to Kim’s agent Clarke Jones, but let’s take a look here at some of Jones’ quotes about where Kim is and what he’s up to.
Regarding a comeback:
“I’m hopeful it will be in 2014. Anything other than that is a guess, and I don’t like to guess. He’s a marvelous talent, but it has been a long time. There’s no denying that.”
Okay, so everything starts off well enough, with Jones suggesting that it’s possible that we see Kim at some point this year, and he’s right about the marvelous talent part. If there’s anyone that embodied the mentality that my friends at No Laying Up promote, it was Kim. He was fantastic to watch because much like many young players, he was the definition of a “go for it” player; the type of guy that you knew was going to be fun to watch, regardless of what the outcome was much like Phil Mickelson or John Daly.
Hawkins goes over the fact that Jones is a good man who has always been straight up and honest, with no reason to hide anything from him regarding his client. As it relates to a rumoured suspension from the PGA Tour, Jones shoots it down pretty quickly:
“I can categorically deny that there has been any suspension. Nothing has been done by the PGA Tour to prevent Anthony from returning.”
The rumours about Kim possibly being suspended have been around for years, dating back to his sitting out because of his arm problem, but nothing has ever been confirmed. The PGA Tour, for reasons which have never been fully explained, do not disclose their fines and suspensions like the other major leagues, which is a topic of conversation for another day. As it relates to Kim, he’s still listed on their site under the Major Medical Extension, meaning that if he does decide to come back, he’ll have a limited number of starts to earn enough money to get his status back. However, the news about Kim takes a bad turn at the end of Hawkins’ piece:
In search of something resembling context, I asked Jones if Kim was playing any golf, even recreationally.
Doesn’t sound like much of a comeback, if you ask me. “He’s not living under a bridge, he’s not living in a box,” Jones added. “I’m going to go see him [in Texas] in a few weeks, and at that point, I’ll get a better definition of where he stands.”
Not even playing recreationally? Players go away and fall out of the spotlight on a fairly regular basis, but not like this. Just earlier, Jones was suggesting that he was hopeful for a 2014 return, but a return to what, exactly? If Kim hasn’t been playing, not even recreationally, where exactly is he going to be able to play? Sure, he’s got some form of status on the PGA Tour, but it’s quite the tall task to play well enough to keep your card when you’ve been playing every week, let alone when you haven’t even been going to a local pitch and putt. If the most positive thing you can say about someone is that they aren’t living under a bridge, that’s not a good thing.
It certainly sounds like we’re going to be waiting quite a while for the return of Kim, and it appears like that might even be an optimistic viewpoint with some of the quotes in Hawkins’ piece. Why has it taken this long to get any information out of anyone in the Kim camp, though? I mean, if it’s a standard injury based thing, I find it hard to believe that it would take almost two years to dig anything up on the guy.
This is the kind of thing that I’m talking about. Ballengee is a great reporter and does a fantastic job at Golf News Net, and he’s got nothing. All of the reporters that we have in the golf industry have put nothing together on this guy. His own agent either has no clue about what is going on with his client, or doesn’t want to share what’s going on in order to protect him, which is his right, and arguably, his responsibility. I can’t be the only one that sees this as being a little odd, right?
I could be reading too much into this, but none of this sounds good at all, which is a shame because golf can always use players with as much talent and energy as Anthony Kim. At least now we know that he’s not living under a bridge though.