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LIV GOLF HONG KONG

Signs of life: Anthony Kim surprises with shockingly low final-round at LIV Golf Hong Kong

March 10, 2024
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Eurasia Sport Images

It took six rounds back from a 12-year competitive hiatus, but Anthony Kim finally showed some glimpses of what made him a popular, young American star early in his career.

Now 38, Kim understandably had a rough go of it last week in his first event back at LIV Golf’s event in Saudi Arabia, shooting a 16-over-par total in three days to finish last in the pack.

In this week's LIV Hong Kong stop, Kim opened with a six-over 76 on Friday at Hong Kong Golf Club and only bested Phil Mickelson, who shot an eye-opening 80. A second-round 72 from Kim on Saturday was much better, but still included four bogeys and a double bogey.

Finally on Sunday, Kim showed signs of life by recording seven birdies, against two bogeys, to shoot a final-round 65. He ended the week at a promising three-over-par total. He finished in 50th place and beat Jason Kokrak, Hudson Swafford, Mickelson and Kieran Vincent, with Abraham Ancer pulling out the title in a playoff.

“I knew something good was coming,” Kim said. “It's hard to stay patient when you feel like it's right there, and I'm really happy that it hasn't taken me one more round to get here.

“I'm just happy about the progress I'm making and the confidence I'm building going into the next few weeks.”

Kim’s seven birdies in Round 3 were two more than he made in his first two rounds combined in Hong Kong. He had only made nine birdies total in his previous five rounds before Sunday.

He started on the 15th hole in the shotgun-start format and birdied his second and fourth holes of the round, then played his next 10 holes even par with two birdies and two bogeys. Three consecutive birdies at Nos. 11, 12 and 13 got him to five under par on the day before closing with a par on his last hole, the par-4 14th.

“I'm very proud,” Kim said. “Coming from where I came from over the last 10, 12 years, I'm just very grateful for this opportunity. Every step I walk, I feel blessed. So matter what I shoot, I feel like I've won. I never thought those words would come out of my mouth, but I'm trying to play this game with a lot of gratitude and live my life the same way.”

LIV Golf’s next event isn’t until April 5 in Miami, but Kim is still going to play next week, his third consecutive. He is scheduled to make a start at the Asian Tour's International Series event in Macau.