'What Rollback?' - Anthony Kim Reminds Fans Just How Long He Was Away But Shares 'Burning Desire' To Make Top-Level Return

The three-time PGA Tour winner came back to pro golf via the LIV Golf League this season after almost 12 years away - and Kim wants to rediscover his peak powers

Anthony Kim smiles ahead of LIV Golf Adelaide 2024
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Anthony Kim's return to professional golf after almost 12 years away has been a fairly tough watch so far, but the three-time PGA Tour winner insists he still harbors a "burning desire" to return to the top level one day.

Once among the brightest young talents anywhere on the planet, Kim mysteriously faded away from the sport following surgery on his Achilles in the aftermath of the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship.

The reasons for his lengthy hiatus were largely explained in an-depth interview with David Feherty earlier this season, but his return arrived not with the tour that he had left but instead in the LIV Golf League - a circuit which was nowhere close to existence the last time Kim put club to ball in a competitive sense.

Kim signed up as a 'wildcard' in the 54-hole league, making his second debut at LIV Golf Jeddah back in early March. Unsurprisingly, given the lack of competitive practice and - as it turned out - the absence of any custom-fitted clubs, the 38-year-old finished dead last out of all players who completed all three rounds.

From there, while there were certainly moments of optimism, Kim continued to struggle over the course of the week and has yet to crack the top-50 in his first five LIV starts.

Not that is deterring the American, however, as Kim has vowed to continue working hard in order to regain his place among the best players in the world.

Replying to one fan on X (formerly Twitter), Kim said: "Don’t let me showing my family and appreciating this life on [social media] fool u. I have a burning desire to get back to a high level and even better with a clear mind. I will get there and when I [do] I will be more prepared than ever."

If he is to do it, Kim will have to not only sharpen his prodigious talent but also quickly learn where the game is at and where it is heading as well. Since leaving golf in 2012, technology in the game has developed significantly - so much so that lawmakers felt forced to intervene late in 2023 via plans to rollback the golf ball.

But Kim, apparently, was unaware of such a momentous change in the game - innocently responding "what rollback?" during an exchange with golf account 'Flushing It' on X.

After another fan briefly explained what the rollback would mean for both amateurs and professionals, Kim replied: "The balls go stupid far now, but they have made these courses so long I’m not sure what’s gonna happen."

Before the rollback is brought in - set to be no earlier than 2028 - Kim is concentrating on his own physical and mental health challenges, though, and has been a huge advocate for spreading positivity since his comeback.

In another social-media post, he said: "Never thought I would be playing golf again from my battles with my #mentalhealth but thru my sobriety and support I am blessed with this stage. Results are not there yet but I’m gaining on it. 1% better everyday."

Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff News Writer who joined Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. An improving golfer who still classes himself as ‘one of the worst players on the Golf Monthly team’, Jonny enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.