Once Called Another Tiger Woods, Birthday Boy Anthony Kim’s 5 Most Memorable Moments Explored

Anthony Kim‘s disappearance from professional golf 12 years ago was a startling moment for the sport. Equally surprising is his dramatic return in 2024, which has captured significant attention. After more than a decade away from the professional scene, it’s clear that Anthony Kim of today is a new version of himself. From being compared to Tiger Woods to missing the game altogether, Kim’s life story is truly inspiring. His seven surgeries and battle with addiction have significantly shaped his character.

Embracing these challenges, the golfer is now grateful for every opportunity. As he marked his 39th birthday on June 19th, this milestone is particularly special. Not only that, having experienced many ups and downs, Kim has witnessed a lot in his golfing career as well. Here are some of the highlights from his journey so far.

Kim spent his college years at the University of Oklahoma, where he had a promising golfing career. In 2006, things started to look interesting after he finished second in his first PGA Tour start at the Valero Texas Open. A year and a half later, in 2007, the golfer claimed his first PGA Tour title against a strong field at Quail Hollow, winning by five shots. At that time, he was just 22 years old, and he quickly raised expectations. Guess what? He delivered in 2008!

Anthony Kim’s victory over Sergio Garcia at the 2008 Ryder Cup
Kim was already in the spotlight at that time, thanks to his victory at the Wells Fargo Championship in 2008. Shortly after, he delivered another impressive performance at the Ryder Cup, held at Valhalla in 2008. Representing Team USA, he faced off against Sergio Garcia. Both golfers started strong, showcasing impressive drives on the first hole and exceptional second shots over the first three holes.

After finishing fourth, Garcia faced even more difficulty at the long par-four 6th. His drive landed on the downslope of a bank above a winding creek, buried in a dense mat of foot-long bluegrass. Consequently, he had to take a penalty drop. Despite this setback, Garcia was unable to recover, resulting in a victory for Team USA.

Freshman of the year at the University of Oklahoma
Before stepping onto the professional greens, the golfer had already established himself as a standout during his college days. At Oklahoma, he garnered recognition as a three-time All-American and was named the 2004 Freshman of the Year. He also set the school record for the lowest scoring average in relation to par with a 71.73 (+0.22), narrowly surpassing Abraham Ancer’s 72.42 (+0.93). Additionally, he clinched the individual title at the Big 12 Championships held at Whispering Pines Golf Course during his collegiate career.

Anthony Kim’s name isn’t only known to the world of Golf
Two years before taking a long break from golf, Kim made a sole appearance at the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game on February 12, 2010, at the Dallas Convention Center. A total of 20 celebrities participated in the game, including several former basketball players. Kim represented Team West, playing alongside NBA players like Robert Horry and Basketball Hall of Famer Chris Mullin.

They played against Team East, which featured incredible players like Rick Fox and Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman. Most of the participants on both teams were actors, comedians, and TV hosts, with Anthony Kim being the sole golfer among the 20 celebrities. After an entertaining match, the West team emerged victorious, winning 41–37 over the East. Two years after this game, in 2012, the golfer disappeared, only to surprise the world of golf again later on.

Kim’s return to professional greens in 2024
During his break, Anthony Kim battled “very dark demons,” with his struggles extending beyond multiple surgeries. Upon returning, he shared his story of the challenges he faced over those 12 years. Refusing to give up, the 39-year-old fought through these difficulties to make his return possible. In February of this year, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman shared an eye-catching video announcing Anthony Kim’s comeback.

Upon his return, the golfer revealed that he had resumed playing only about three months ago after being approached by Greg Norman. Kim made his debut at LIV Golf Miami in 2024 at Doral and has since been part of the Saudi-backed league.

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