Anthony Ha-Jin Kim, born June 19, 1985, is a lapsed American professional golfer. He has won a Ryder Cup, a Presidents Cup and three PGA tours, but has not participated in professional golf tournaments since an injury he sustained in 2012.
Kim was born in Los Angeles, California to Korean American parents. Currently, he resides in Dallas, Texas. Kim attended La Quinta High School in La Quinta, California and then attended the University of Oklahoma for three years. It was at the university that he met his caddie, Brodie, who was a part of the winning US team in the Walker Cup in 2005.
In 2006, Anthony Kim started his professional golfing career. After a sponsor’s exemption, he was able to finish in second place in his debut on the PGA tour at the 2006 Valero Texas Open. By utilizing the qualifying school for the 2007, he was able to earn his PGA card. Kim made an excellent start for the 2007 season, gaining a slot in the top 100 official world golf rankings in May of that year. In the 2007 US Open, he was able to shot a 67 tie for 20th place in the last round. His score of 67 was the lowest for that round and the lowest for the entire tournament.
In May of 2008, Kim was able to win his first PGA Tour Tournament, when he defeated the former British Open champion Ben Curtis at the Wachovia Championship. Kim’s 16-under par shot was the lowest score in the history of the PGA Tournament, and this record was not broken until 2015. For his win, Kim earned a total of $1,152,000 and the ranking of number 16 among the best world golf players.
In July 2008, Kim again won the PGA Tour Tournament, beating his opponent by two shots. By winning this match, Kim became the first American under age 25 to win two times in a single year on the Tour since Tiger Woods in 2000. This new win made him number 14 in the world rankings. Since 2008, Kim has spent more than 20 weeks listed as one of the top ten golf players in the world.
In September 2008, Kim was a crucial part of the United States’ win of the Ryder Tournament, helping the US by defeating Sergio Garcia, a veteran of the Ryder Cup. Later in the year, Kim joined the European Tour for the 2009 season, which made him a member at the HSBC Champions in 2008, which was the first tournament of the 2009 season.
While at the 2009 Masters Tournament, held at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, Kim set the record for the most birdies in a round by landing a total of 11 in the second round, breaking the previous record of ten that had held since 1986.
At the Presidents Cup in 2009, Kim won with a 3–1 record, including a five-point victory over Robert Allenby in the singles match held on Sunday. Kim lost to Ross Fisher in the finals of the
Volvo World Match Play after once more beating Robert Allenby in the semi-finals.
On April 4, 2010, Kim won the Shell Houston Open, defeating Vaughn Taylor and becoming the fifth golf player in 30 years to have won the PGA Tour Tournament three times before reaching age 25. The previous four winners were Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott. An injury messed up the rest of the 2010 season for Kim, making him lose the 2010 Ryder Cup.
In June, 2012, Kim had surgery after damaging the Achilles tendon in his left ankle, causing him to miss nearly a year of golf play. He was eligible to play in the 2013 season on Major Medical Exemption, but has not played a game since his surgery.
There has been considerable speculation as to why Anthony Kim has not made the decision to get back into playing golf. The most popular rumor is that he reportedly has an insurance policy that promises him $10 million, tax free, if he is unable to return to the PGA Tour Tournament due to a career ending injury. A Sports Illustrated profile on the golf player revealed recently that Kim is reluctant to get back into golfing because if he does, he will not be able to take advantage of that tidy insurance sum, which could be up to $20 million. An anonymous friend notified the press that Kim reportedly told him something to the effect that if he so much as took one swing on the green, that insurance claim would become invalid.
To date, Kim’s career earnings from the PGA Tour Tournament are approximately $12.2 million. With taxes, agent fees and the like, it is estimated that he would need to earn another $35 million in order to equal the $10 million he could earn just by keeping his golf clubs put away.
Anthony Kim has been described by his friends as a social recluse, one who shows up suddenly on the green, takes a few swings and then leaves again. He has not been in contact with many of his contacts over the last year, leading some to think that the decision of whether or not he should come back to the PGA Tour Tournament is weighing heavily on his mind.
CBS recently contacted Kim’s agent to try to find out what Kim was up to and if he was ever planning to return to golf. To the news reporters’ surprise, the agent was barely aware of what his client was up to, but was able to confirm that he is alive and well in Texas and is not living under a bridge or living in a box. The agent did not have a response when the reporter pointed out that Kim, who was once one of the most promising golfers, has fallen from his rank among the top ten golfers in the world to a slot at the tail end of the top 1600 golfers in the world.