By Jason Cruz
Northwest Asian Weekly
Who needs to golf when you can get $10 million?
Would you take $10 million to never work again? Sounds like an easy question. But if you are 29-year-old golfer Anthony Kim, there might not be a straightforward answer.
In a recent Sports Illustrated article, it was revealed that Kim has an insurance policy that most of us could never obtain. He will be paid in excess of $10 million, tax-free, if he does not play competitive golf again. Known as “AK,” Kim has not played in a PGA tournament since 2012 due to injury. During that time, Kim has been a mythical recluse that comes and goes. He appears and disappears on a whim. Even though Kim has not “worked” in a couple years, he is not desperate for money, exemplified by his pricey bar tabs at trendy hot spots, high-stakes private poker games, and lavish vacations. He even makes appearances at a golf course to play a casual round or hit some balls at the range.
According to the terms of his insurance policy, Kim can retire from professional golf and collect on the hefty insurance payout. However, it would mean that Kim would never play competitively again. Not even 30, Kim would have to find another job or just live like he has for the past few years: on a permanent vacation. Kim has not talked to the public about his decision and his confidants have not given the press any clues as to what he may decide. Most of his friends have either lost touch or prefer not to reveal Kim’s whereabouts. (Non-disclosure agreements?)
If Kim were to return to the PGA tour, he’d lose out on a guaranteed $10 million tax free (although there are rumblings that the $10 million could be significantly more than that).
Certainly, Kim could return and win more than what is guaranteed in insurance. As reported by Sports Illustrated, Kim made $9.2 million from 2008 to 2010 on the PGA tour, plus an additional $6 million in sponsorship pay from Nike. On the other hand, there would be no guarantee that Kim would ever make that much if he were to return. There is the obvious concern that if he returns, loses the insurance policy guarantee, and gets injured again, he would lose out on so much more than if he just takes the money.
It’s a hard choice for Kim, who burst on the scene at the 2008 Ryder Cup. His aggressive play made him an instant fan favorite and a player to watch on the tour. The Korean American embraced the spotlight and the riches that came with it. The fame and notoriety would go away, but the financial security would ensure Kim a spot on the VIP list of every nightclub and steak house in every major city in the country.
The financial issues are likely weighing heavy on AK, which is the reason he is probably MIA (“missing in action”) from the rest of the world. What would you do?
Ohno is Iron
In 2011, we wrote about how local Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno ran the New York Marathon.
This year, the former two-time gold medalist at the Winter Olympics stepped up in endurance racing as he completed the famed Ironman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii. The event, which tests the mental and physical endurance of its athletes, took place on Saturday, Oct. 11th. It starts with a 2.4-mile swim, then a 112-mile bike (yes, 112 miles), and then a full marathon (26.2 miles for those not aware). Any of those events on its own is a healthy challenge for the most fit. The combination of all three tests the limits of one’s physical ability (and likely mental sanity).
Training for the event takes many months and hours of training in all three disciplines. Ohno ran the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon this past June in 1 hour and 36 minutes. Ohno used it as a “training run” in preparation for Kona this month. It’s interesting that Ohno has been such an endurance athlete when the Olympic sport he is known for was short track speedskating.
For all of his hard work, Ohno finished in 9 hours, 52 minutes, and 27 seconds. It will be interesting to see what’s next for the Federal Way native.
New fight league debuts in U.S.
India-based mixed martial arts organization, Super Fight League, made its first appearance in the United States with a show in Tacoma, Wash. at the Emerald Queen Casino on Oct. 4th. The company’s founder, Raj Kundra, promised that there would be more events in the future.
But the night started off with some concern. In the first match of the evening, the two fighters leaned up against the cage. Unfortunately, someone did not lock the cage door and the fighters fell out of the cage. The fight was stopped as one of the fighters hit the concrete hard.
This may not be the best way to start an event.
Despite the “equipment malfunction,” which was the official reason for the stoppage of the fight, it was a success filled with matches from budding fighters wishing to make a name in the sport. One of these fighters was 35-year-old Cheryl Chan. The Canadian from Surrey, British Columbia, known as “Kid Chaos,” was fighting above her natural weight class. More comfortable fighting at 105 pounds, Chan was fighting in the 125 pound division. She dominated her much taller opponent (Chan is listed at 5’4”, while her opponent towered over her at 5’11”). Chan was able to control her opponent and opened up a gash on her head. She eventually earned a submission with a choke. The victory was Chan’s very first professional win in her fourth try. She was previously 6-2 as an amateur.
Although many of the fighters are not on par with the caliber of MMA fighters in the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC), it was an entertaining night. Kundra, the league’s founder, is an ex-cricket team owner and his wife, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, who also works for the organization, is a former Bollywood star. The two hope to succeed with this league in the United States. Established in 2012, it has had 34 events in India and continues to build support. He partnered with a local Tacoma, Washington-based promotion company to get his start, so the hope is that more people watch the fights here. (end)
Jason Cruz can be reached at email@example.com.