Golf star Tiger Woods once said was ‘the only one’ makes shock return to the game after 12 YEARS out

Rory McIlroy had his say on the rumoured party-boy back in 2019

 

 

He was previously touted as a potential heir to Tiger Woods, and was the youngest member of the US’ 2008 Ryder Cup team at just 23.

 

During his time away, Kim achieved almost mythical status, as fans wondered if they would ever see him play again.

 

This weekend he is set to compete in LIV Golf in Jeddah.

 

Kim won three events by the age of 25 and had earned a place in the world’s top ten, peaking at No6 in September 2008.

 

 

 

He finished third at the Masters in 2010, but then came a dip in form that became a gradual decline.

 

Ahead of his disappearance from the PGA Tour in 2012, Kim had endured four withdrawals and five missed cuts from his last 10 events.

 

In a rare interview in 2015, he told the Associated Press: “Golf is a fond memory of mine.

 

“I’m going to step away from the game for a little while and get my body pieced together.

 

 

“I’ve got so much ground to make up from injuries — rotator cuff, labrum, spinal fusion, hand injury. I’ve had six or seven surgeries in the last 3-and-a-half years.”

 

Like many American golfers, Kim idolised Woods as a kid, once saying: “Coming from Los Angeles, and Tiger starting his career when I was thinking about being a golfer means he has affected my life so much.

 

 

 

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“Golf wasn’t cool before Tiger Woods, and I absolutely think there are things that he does that I try and copy.

 

 

 

“He was as nice a person as I have met, so I have a tremendous amount of respect for him.

 

“Not just on the golf course but off it too, and I want to emulate him.”

 

Woods, now 48, admired Kim’s game too, once commenting on his grip: “He’s the only player I’ve ever seen that actually plays pretty much the entire bag choked up.

 

“It does provide a lot of control; you don’t hit the ball as far offline. You hit the ball very straight that way.

 

 

 

“It’s amazing that a lot of amateurs don’t try and do that.

 

“They like to grip the club like in baseball, with the pinky off the club because some pros have taught them that if you grip the very end of the club, you get more whip at the bottom.”

 

It’s claimed in some quarters that a disability insurance policy worth around £7.8million a year put Kim off from attempting a comeback.

 

On his party-boy public image, the former University of Oklahoma standout once commented: “These rumours tainted my reputation. And I didn’t have a great one to begin with.”

 

 

 

“The world has seen it in the past and now it is an honour as Commissioner of LIV Golf to give the opportunity for this star to be reborn.

 

“Welcome back and to the LIV Golf family mate. The golf world has missed you.”

 

 

 

 

It will be the first of 12 remaining LIV events this season that Kim is set to enter as a wild card.

 

 

Rory McIlroy once said of the former starlet in 2019: “I miss Anthony Kim. The tour was a better place with him in it. He was exciting.”

 

Fans will now have the opportunity to see if Kim can conjure up his best stuff once again, 14 years on from the last of his three PGA Tour wins.

 

 

 

Kim will now have the chance to finally deliver on his huge promiseCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

 

 

 

Gideon Canice

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