By Jason Cruz
Northwest Asian Weekly
Anthony Kim gave a rare media interview in which the former PGA Tour player spoke about when, or if he will return to the tour. Kim, who is battling numerous injuries, went off the radar after leaving the tour in 2012. He was only 26 years old.
Last September, a report stated an insurance policy would pay him close to $20 million if he could not return to golf. In speaking with the Associated Press, his first interview in years, Kim denied the implication that the policy would keep him away from golf. But, his multiple injuries still persist and despite the fact he is starting to watch the PGA Tour more, he noted golf “is a fond memory of mine.”
Kim was noncommittal of a comeback. This is in part to his injuries which include an Achilles injury, rotator cuff, labrum, spinal fusion and hand surgery. He notes he has had “six or seven surgeries in the last three-and-a-half years.”
Physical therapy occupies most of Kim’s days. He receives monthly payments from an insurance policy he purchased “well into the mid-six figures” in case he was injured. He indicated that he must show insurance detailed medical treatment including X-rays and proof of going to physical therapy and other treatment.
The time away has given Kim the opportunity to reconnect with his mother. He spent time with her in South Korea and bought her a house in Beverly Hills.
Kim does not deny his eccentric lifestyle when he was on the PGA Tour which differed from the typical, conservative golfer. Yet, Kim did not blow through the estimated $12 million in earnings from five years on the PGA Tour. He invested in a company in the medical services industry in which he made back his investment within months.
Although he’s been away from competitive golf since 2012, Kim’s injuries still persist. While he is motivated to take one more shot, he did not paint a positive picture for a return.
With his brief return to the spotlight, one can only speculate that Kim yearns to be back on the PGA Tour.
Although he lived under the radar for three years, it appears that his love for the game may be back. But, his health has not allowed him to get back on the course.
Kim has a medial exception in the event he is cleared to play by his doctors. He would have to earn $613,550 in prize money in 16 starts to regain his Tour card.
At the age of 30, Kim probably sees his professional golfing career at a crossroads. He has not played a full round of 18 holes in a year and a half. It’s not clear when or if he will ever be healthy enough to make it back. (end)
Jason Cruz can be reached at email@example.com.