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The enduring mystery of Anthony Kim

February 05, 2024
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Harry How

When Anthony Kim withdrew from the Wells Fargo Championship in 2012 after just one round, plagued by injuries and poor play, nobody had a clue that it would be his last round on the PGA Tour—including Kim. But a month later, when he tore his Achilles tendon jogging on the beach, it was the straw that broke the camel's back, and Kim was gone. Whether you believe he resisted a comeback because of a lucrative insurance policy, or that his confidence was gone, or just that he never felt quite at home on the PGA Tour, your thoughts were no more than a guess. Aside from one brief interview in 2015, Kim never spoke publicly, including on social media.

In that absence, his legend grew. Sure, Kim only won two tournaments, and had just a single top-five finish at a major, but he was also the first American player since Tiger to win two tournaments before age 25, and his reputation among his peers outpaced his accomplishments on the course. His potential was massive, existing alongside his reputation as a party animal, and for someone like that to just walk away, and then to stay quiet about it, created an irresistible cult following that only grew the longer he stayed away.

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Donald Miralle

Now, reports indicate that Kim may be on the verge of signing with LIV Golf and playing as soon as this spring in Jeddah. The fascination that has built over the last 12 years has a finish line in sight. But that also means that the mystery and intrigue surrounding a man frequently referred to as "golf's yeti" might be on the cusp of disappearing.

So, who is Anthony Kim? Where did he come from, what forces drove him, and why did he vanish off the map at such a young age? Where can he realistically go from here? On this week's Local Knowledge podcast, we dive deep into the most fascinating player of his American generation, and try to crack the uncrackable mystery before it's gone forever.