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Anthony Kim planning return to golf after 12-year absence, per report

Anthony Kim during the first round of the Honda Classic golf tournament in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Thursday, March 3, 2011. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
Anthony Kim hasn't played on the PGA Tour since Barack Obama's first term as president. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

A name not heard in golf in many years is returning to the sport.

Anthony Kim, a golfer once primed to be a future star, is planning a comeback after 12 years away from competition, according to Golf.com.

Kim's last appearance came in 2012 at the age of 26, when he appeared in the Wells Fargo Championship and withdrew after one round. That was the final of three straight withdrawals, culminating in a surgery to repair his Achilles tendon. There has been barely a whisper of him on the PGA Tour since.

At his peak, Kim made three top-10s in majors, finishing third in The Masters in 2010.

Now 38 years old, Kim is reportedly on his way back, with a notable obstacle. He reportedly received an insurance policy worth $10 million to protect him from career-ending injury, which would be voided if he decided to return from injury.

Would Anthony Kim join the PGA Tour or LIV Golf?

The good news is that Kim arrives at a time in the golf world when he has leverage, thanks to the PGA Tour/LIV Golf conflict. Both companies are reportedly interested in him, with each presenting pros and cons.

The PGA Tour gives Kim a chance to resume where he started and resume play as soon as he wants, with potential berths via "past champion" status and sponsor exemptions, per Golf.com. A three-time champion on the PGA Tour, Kim would undoubtedly be attractive for organizers looking to add a well-known and, at this point, mercurial figure to their fields.

On the other hand, the PGA Tour isn't as well equipped to handle that $10 million stumbling block for Kim. The tour could reportedly help him out, though, via sponsorships and a spot on the Player Impact Program.

LIV Golf's advantage is, as always, financial, as it could very obviously give Kim that $10 million up front and keep the money coming through prizes and sponsorships. The league was reportedly not that interested in Kim until some key figures, Dustin Johnson among them, spoke up. Kim now reportedly has a one-year offer on the table that would cover his insurance policy. LIV's lack of cuts also present the advantage of increased ramps as he gets back in the swing of things.

The drawback for LIV Golf is logistical. If Kim were to sign, he apparently could compete without a team as a "wild card." There's also probably not enough time for him to make the field at LIV's event in Mayakoba next week, with Miami's event in April reportedly floated as a debut.

Either way, this is the most we've heard about Anthony Kim in more than a decade. Images and cryptic messages have popped up here and there, like a random swing video in 2018 when his swing coach posted "2021 is going to be special."

This is a guy who said golf is "a fond memory of mine" eight years ago, but now he could be coming back in 2024.