Former PGA Tour player gets three-year suspension from Korean Tour for obscene gesture during tournament
Kim Bi-o of Korea takes a shot on the course during the Pro-Am competition of the Kolon Korea Open at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club near Cheonan, on 16 October 2013. The one billion won (around U.S. $950,000) tournament is part of the OneAsia circuit. AFP PHOTO / PAUL LAKATOS -----EDITORS NOTE --- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / OneAsia / Paul Lakatos" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS (Photo credit should read PAUL LAKATOS/AFP/Getty Images)
A former PGA Tour player has been suspended from the Korean Tour for three years after making an obscene gesture during Sunday's final round of the DGB Financial Group Volvik Daegu Gyeongbuk Open. Yes, that's correct. Three years.
According to the AFP, Bio Kim flipped off the crowd and slammed his club in frustration after hearing a fan's cell phone go off while he hit a shot on the 16th hole. Kim held a one-shot lead at the time and wound up winning for his second KPGA title of the season. After, he apologized for his outburst. Apparently, it wasn't enough to keep the tour's governing body from issuing a stiff punishment.
The KPGA reached a unanimous decision to fine Kim $8,350 (Or 10 million won) and suspend him for three years. The tour's current leader in money and player of the year points will not be allowed to finish the season.
"Kim Bi-o damaged the dignity of a golfer with etiquette violation and inappropriate behavior," the tour said in a statement.
On Tuesday, an emotional Kim appeared—and kneeled—before Korean media to apologize in a powerful AFP image circulating the internet.
And here's video of the incident:
A tour pro flashing the middle finger isn't a rarity, but such a penalty, obviously, is. In August, cameras caught Emiliano Grillo flipping off the hole after missing a putt that would have gotten him into the weekend at the Northern Trust. It is unclear if Grillo was fined because the PGA Tour doesn't make such info public, but he clearly wasn't suspended (not that he should have been) because he played in the BMW Championship the following week.
Kim, 29, played on the PGA Tour in 2011 after making it through Q school. He made 25 starts that season, making 10 cuts and recording five top-25 finishes, including a T-11 at the Puerto Rico Open. The five-time Korean Tour winner also spent two seasons on the Korn Ferry Tour.
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