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Anthony Kim opens up about 12-year hiatus from golf after mysterious disappearance

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Anthony Kim opens up about 12-year hiatus from golf after mysterious disappearance


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Anthony Kim had been away from golf for 12 years until his return earlier this year.



CNN
 — 

Anthony Kim had forged himself a burgeoning golf career by the time he was 26.

He had won multiple times on the PGA Tour, had risen to No. 6 in the world and had featured on a victorious Team USA at the 2008 Ryder Cup and 2009 Presidents Cup.

But then he disappeared. A succession of serious injuries left his body in pieces and public sightings became few and far between.

That was until earlier this year when, after 12 years away from golf, Kim made a surprise return to competitive action, featuring on the LIV Golf tour as he made his comeback to the sport he was on the brink of cracking over a decade ago.

For the first time since his return, Kim has opened up about his sudden disappearance from golf, explaining that some of the people he surrounded himself with took their toll on his career.

“I’m not going to lie, I was around some bad people,” Kim said in an interview with David Feherty for LIV.

“People that took advantage of me. Scam artists. And when you’re 24 or 25, even 30 years old, you don’t realize the snakes that are living under your roof.”

And Kim would know about living with animals. In the interview, he explained that, at one point, he was living with six dogs and two monkeys while going through a period of not leaving his house and watching a lot of reality television.

He also describes getting rid of “about 98%” of the people he had around him during his first forays into golf as an attempt to restructure his life.

Kim detailed the extent to his injury problems too, saying he had multiple surgeries on his Achilles tendon and shoulder, as well as operations on his hand and a spinal fusion.

The three-time PGA Tour winner expressed how much the combination of injuries and external factors weighed heavily on him during that time.

“Golf is important to me and not important to me at the same time,” Kim said. “I’ve had some very dark moments. I’ve had some very low moments.

“I’ve felt very alone, even when there’s a million people around. I needed to get my mind straight and figure out what my purpose was on this planet.”

Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Kim holds the trophy after winning the Houston Open at Redstone Golf Club on April 4, 2010 in Humble, Texas.

Last month, Kim returned to the sport for the first time since May 2012, finishing last at LIV Golf’s third event of the season in Saudi Arabia. Kim said that he had offers to return to the PGA Tour before choosing instead to sign with LIV.

The 38-year-old shot 16-over par to finish bottom of the 53-player field to complete all 54 holes. Despite the performance and his frank assessment of his output, Kim was overall “encouraged” by being back out on the course.

The American credits his wife and the birth of his daughter for helping him return to some semblance of normality and take his first steps to getting back to golf.

The overall journey has been one of rediscovery for Kim, one in which he’s had to sort out what his true passions are. And to his surprise, golf features prominently on his list.

“So I have an interesting relationship with golf. I don’t think I ever loved it. What’s very weird to me right now is that I’m falling in love with the game,” he said.

“That’s such a weird spot for me because golf was filled with pressure, golf was filled with lots of different emotions for me because my family had to go through a lot to give me this opportunity to play golf. So with that added pressure, I was willing to risk a lot more. That was my nature. I was aggressive on the golf course, I was aggressive off the golf course. And that led to my demise.”



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