Anthony Kim to play LIV events in 2024 after 11 years away

Jon Rahm talks move to LIV Golf, future with PGA Tour (5:10)

Jon Rahm sits down with Marty Smith to discuss his transition to LIV Golf and his future with the PGA Tour. (5:10)

Anthony Kim, who last played in a professional golf tournament nearly a dozen years ago, will return to competition at this week's LIV Golf League event in Saudi Arabia.

LIV Golf announced Wednesday that Kim, 38, would join the series as a season-long wild-card player, starting with the LIV Golf Invitational Jeddah tournament that begins Friday at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club in King Abdullah Economic City. As a wild card, Kim will play in the individual competition, but his scores won't count in the team event.

"After stepping away from the game years ago due to injury, I'm happy to officially announce my return to the world of professional golf," Kim said in a statement. "It's been a long time coming, and I'm very grateful for all the highs, lows and lessons learned from the first part of my career. I want to compete with the best players in the world, and I'm on a mission to prove to myself that I can win again. The next step on that journey starts now, and I'm excited to give everything I've got this season on the LIV Golf League."

LIV Golf League CEO and commissioner Greg Norman had teased Kim's comeback in a post to X on Monday, in which he shared a video from LIV Golf's account that appeared to feature Kim walking down a fairway.

Kim also had discussions about returning to the PGA Tour in recent months.

"LIV Golf was launched to create new opportunities for players and fans that drive this sport forward in exciting ways, and when I think of Anthony Kim, I can't imagine a more perfect fit for what we're trying to do," Norman said in a statement. "His talent is undeniable, and we are thrilled to welcome him back to professional golf with our league."

LIV Golf isn't done courting PGA Tour players as well. In an interview with Australian Golf Digest, Norman confirmed that his league had been targeting Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champion. Matsuyama won the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club outside Los Angeles earlier this month to break the record for the most PGA Tour victories by an Asian-born player.

"We've been trying to get Hideki Matsuyama," Norman said. "I don't mind admitting that. When Hideki won in L.A., what's the first thing I did? I said, 'Congratulations, Hideki. I'm proud of you, mate.'"

Kim made his last start on the PGA Tour when he withdrew after the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship in May 2012. He underwent surgery to repair an Achilles tendon injury in his left leg the next month and hasn't played professionally since.

A sticking point in his comeback is that he collected at least part of a disability insurance policy that was reportedly worth $10-20 million. He would probably be required to pay back a large portion, if not all, of the settlement he has collected.

Even though Kim hasn't played in more than a decade, the reclusive golfer has still been the subject of great interest by golf fans. The former Oklahoma star turned pro in 2006 and tied for second while playing on a sponsor's exemption at the Valero Texas Open in his first start.

Kim's breakthrough came during the 2008 season, when he captured his first PGA Tour victory at the Wachovia Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. He won again at the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, about two months later.

Kim was ranked as high as sixth in the world at the height of his career.

Kim is perhaps best known for his performance as a rookie in the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. He walloped Spain's Sergio Garcia 5 and 4 in the opening match of Sunday singles, helping lead the U.S. to a 16½-11½ victory that ended Europe's streak of three straight victories in the international event.

Kim made 122 starts on the PGA Tour, making about $12.2 million in on-course earnings. His last victory came when he defeated Vaughn Taylor in a playoff at the 2010 Shell Open. A week later, he carded a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Masters and finished third, 4 strokes behind winner Phil Mickelson.

Along with the Achilles tendon injury, Kim was plagued by tendinitis in his left arm and a left thumb injury during his career.