Anthony Kim hasn't been seen on the PGA Tour since May 2012, withdrawing from the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina after a first-round 74. That Thursday, he cited injuries to his right wrist and elbow, as well continued pain in a surgically repaired left thumb. He said he would review his options and consider competing in The Players Championship the next week.
Kim chose not to play. Then he tore an Achilles and hasn't been heard from since. Two-and-a-half years later, what happened to Kim remains an unsolved mystery.
However, a Golf.com report suggests that according to a friend, Kim is safe and healthy enough to play. So why isn't he playing?
Kim reportedly took out a $10 million insurance policy against career-ending injury that could be worth at least $10 million tax free, if not more.
If Kim returns to the PGA Tour in any capacity, the policy is void and he would lose the money on what amounts to a lifetime disability plan.
According to the Golf.com story, Kim told a friend, "If I take one swing on Tour, the policy is voided."
Were Kim to make a comeback at 29, he'd have to earn an estimated $35 million simply to clear what he's being paid not to play. In seven seasons on Tour, Kim earned $12.2 million, with all but $3 million earned from 2008-10. The gamble's simply not worth it.
Meanwhile, Kim is free to enjoy life. He's become an urban legend in Dallas, where he's been seen at area bars and playing in high-stakes card games. However, he's rarely seen playing golf recreationally. He reportedly makes the occasional cameo on a driving range or for nine holes at a high-end private club.
Kim reportedly contacted the PGA Tour in April 2014 asking for the password to a player information portal. However, Kim has no love for the Tour, its corporate feel or its executives. It doesn't suit his blue-collar background, he feels. Media intrigue in his story and legendary off-course behavior may make him apprehensive to step under a microscope again.
However, Kim seems to have become even more of a recluse, choosing to sell his Dallas pad, removing some bling from his Rolls-Royce, avoiding frequented bars and strip clubs.
So there Kim sits, reportedly well apprised of what's happening on the PGA Tour, but paralyzed by a potential massive financial windfall and the dread of constant scrutiny if he decided to return.
Maybe the money is the best choice.