The Golf World Reacts To Anthony Kim Shooting A Last-Place Round Of 76 In His LIV Golf Debut At Jeddah

Anthony Kim
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Considering he spent about 12 years away from competition, it’s a minor moral victory that Anthony Kim didn’t go out and shoot, like, 87 in his first tournament for LIV Golf. As a big fan of Kim’s ongoing, improbable comeback — this man’s brass balls and bravado are clearly intact after all this time — it’s to be expected that he’s knocking off some rust.

When you really pull apart Kim’s first round in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, it’s really not as dreadful as the score suggests. Yes, he’s in dead-last. Jon Rahm and Adrian Meronk set the pace for the leaders at eight under par. However, Kim is only two strokes off the next-worst golfer, Bubba Watson, and only a couple more shots back from big names like Graeme McDowell and Marc Leishman. Not like he’s completely out of touch from the rest of the field.

It was a good start for Kim when he found the fairway on his first swing.

Alas, he cold-topped his next shot. Like a legit worm burner. Ground ball up the middle. Whatever you want to call it. That led to a bogey.

Unfortunately, he also hit a dreaded shank from less than 130 yards away, much like Tiger Woods did at Riviera not long ago.

AK somehow saved bogey from wherever the hell that ball ended up, and rebounded on the next hole with his first and only birdie of the day.

A string of three bogeys followed thereafter. Kim missed a birdie from close range at his final hole when he blasted the short putt through the break as well.

So between completely topping his second full swing, a stone-cold shank and a birdie that could’ve easily gone down on his last hole, Kim was more in the neighborhood of shooting par than his final score would suggest. That’s why he wasn’t too down on himself.

And wouldn’t you know it? In the cold, dark, toxic and negative place that can be Elon Musk’s X/Twitter, most folks of note who cover and follow this beautiful game closely had appropriate, nuanced and sensible takes on Kim’s performance.

I’m proud of Golf Twitter today. Nobody is out here crushing the guy.

Another key piece of context incoming, based on the last reaction I plugged in the above section. The extensive interview Greg Norman did on the LIV broadcast heavily implied that Kim was dealing with some issues that had nothing to do with golf. Norman discussed how Kim was reinvigorated by LIV’s interest in him, but more importantly, by his wife and daughter.

Regardless of how Kim plays this week, he’ll have invaluable experience under his belt that will hopefully lead to some steady improvement throughout the rest of the LIV Golf season. That score of 76 is by no means something AK will be satisfied with, yet it’s also not the disaster I thought many would claim it to be.

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