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Golf

Surprise! Anthony Kim Really Is Playing Golf Again

The Dallas resident was golf's next big thing until he suddenly disappeared. Now he's resurfaced just as abruptly on the LIV Tour.
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This is a photo from 12 years ago, otherwise known as the time when Anthony Kim was last seen at a golf tournament. Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s a peek behind the curtain of life at D Magazine: we’ve got a golf issue coming up! It’s coming in April, it’s spearheaded by the great Holland Murphy, and it features a bunch of excellent stories. You’re gonna dig it.

But as we started imagining the issue last year, we resigned ourselves to the fact that we were not getting the single best golf story in Dallas, because no one was ever seeing Anthony Kim again.

Why should we have presumed otherwise? Kim is as close to a mystery as could exist in our modern world. He rocketed to stardom as one of the most successful and stylish young players on tour, had a bright future ahead of him at age 26, and then disappeared from public view without warning or explanation. In the 12 years since Kim played his last PGA event, we’ve only gotten breadcrumbs about his life. About all that is publicly known is he lives in Dallas, had a ton of surgeries to fix injuries suffered on tour, and he has collected a healthy insurance payout that reportedly may void if he returned to competition. How true or lucrative that payment is, no one can say for certain. Same goes for whether that was the real reason he’d stayed away from golf—and, for that matter, the public spotlight.

Every now and again, a glossy outlet would do a story more or less rehashing what I just told you and describe Kim as a yeti or golf’s J.D. Salinger, but the conclusion was always the same. The player once billed as the next Tiger Woods was gone and there was no reason to expect his return.

But now, at 38 years old, Kim has resurfaced as abruptly as he disappeared, showing up in Jeddah, Saudia Arabia, to compete as a wild card entry at a LIV Tour event that tees off Friday. Per a report from Sports Illustrated, Kim is slated to play in at least three upcoming LIV Tour events.

I’m not going to lie: this is a pretty jarring way to conclude a dozen years of anonymity. So jarring, in fact, that I mostly rolled my eyes when rumors of this started percolating in the last week. But he’s actually there. There’s video of it and everything, featuring what is the funniest possible music you could set a golf swing to:

But why? Did the insurance payments run out? How healthy is he? What’s his plan? Does he still look cooler than everyone else on the course?

We don’t know, and given who we’re dealing with, we may never know. (Well, except for that last question. He definitely looks cooler than everyone else.) What we will know soon enough is whether he can still play.

Author

Mike Piellucci

Mike Piellucci

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Mike Piellucci is D Magazine's sports editor. He is a former staffer at The Athletic and VICE, and his freelance…

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