Golf- The sightings have the ring of myth. One night he is at his favorite bar in Dallas, So & So’s, sitting in the usual corner booth ordering bottles of Patron for a small entourage. Then he is in a penthouse at the Dallas Ritz-Carlton, playing a private, big-money card game. Next thing you know, he is on the range at the Madison Club in La Quinta, Calif., or hitting balls at TPC Craig Ranch outside Dallas. Then he is vacationing in Belize with a comely companion. Or beachcombing in Santa Barbara. Or at Costco in La Quinta with hair grown down to the middle of his back. Anthony Kim has become golf’s yeti, an elusive figure who is the source of endless conjecture. What we know for sure is that Kim, 29, has not teed it up at a PGA Tour event in more than 28 months. Once considered the future of U.S. golf, he is now estranged from the game that brought him fame and fortune. His handlers at IMG rarely speak to him. In April, golfchannel.com asked Kim’s agent, Clarke Jones, about his client’s whereabouts. The best Jones could come up with? “He’s not living under a bridge, he’s not living in a box.” The players on Tour wonder if they will ever cross paths with Kim again. ”What have you heard about him?” asks Phil Mickelson, a onetime mentor. “We used to text back and forth, but I haven’t had any contact with him in, oh, a year and a half.”
You can read the whole thing here.
So a couple people sent me this and I finally got around to reading it. I normally don’t do the “You should read this long form piece” recommendation. Mostly because since I’ve become a blogger my brain no longer has the patience for long form pieces. Sad to say but that’s the truth. My brain is oatmeal at this point. That’s just the way it goes. But since people sent it to me I wanted to read it and it was actually really good. If you’re a golf fan you should for sure read it. If you’re not a golf fan but you remember the name Anthony Kim you should read it too. If you just like reading sports profiles you should read it. Just read it. It’s super interesting.
I honestly can’t believe that Anthony Kim is 29 years old now. Of all of the interesting factoids in that article, and there were a whole bunch of them, that stuck out to me the most. It seems like just yesterday young(er) AK and his blinged-out belt buckles were tearing up the Tour and he was primed to be the next hot shot American golfer. He was young and had an electric personality. And then he just disappeared and was never heard from again. I didn’t know about all the behind-the-scenes partying and I for sure didn’t know about the 20 million dollar insurance policy. To me, it sounds more like a mental issue than a physical one. It’s a sad story but not one we haven’t heard before in a sports over and over again. Guy has success earlier in his career than he probably should, can’t handle it, thinks he’s the king of the world and doesn’t need to practice so he stops focusing on his game and focuses more on booze and chasing skirts and before you know it, they’re gone. Poof. Just like that. John Daly has said that’s what happened to him. He won too early in his career and it sent him down the wrong path. JD never took years off (he had a suspension here and there) like Kim but his early success and subsequent partying derailed his career for the most part.
Also, AK being reluctant to come back only makes it worse. The longer he stands on the sidelines the more scrutiny there will be if he ever decides to come back which I hope he does. Not to mention the longer it’ll take for the other pros on the Tour to welcome him back. The dude had a truckload of talent and was a super entertaining personality for golf. Whether he still has either of those things would remain to be seen. He was super awesome in the 2008 Ryder Cup and he hauled in almost $5 million that year from tournaments alone. Then he signed a deal with Nike. That type of talent doesn’t just disappear. Or if he never wants to play golf again and instead wants to ride around in his drop top Bentley and cash that insurance policy and ride of into the sunset who could blame him? But I hope he comes back because that’d be an awesome story. I’m rambling at this point. But you should read the article. It’s good. Yes, it’s long (even longer than this blog), but good.
PS- Fucking Sergio. Every other golfer mentioned in the article said things like “I haven’t heard from him” or “No comment”. But then then when Sergio was asked he had a condescending remark about why Kim fell off the map. What an asshole.