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Anthony Kim Suffered the Same Tragic Fate as Tiger Woods During His 12-Year Hiatus: ‘Lot of Surgeries’

Published 04/02/2024, 1:34 PM EDT

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Anthony Kim, formerly a shining star on the PGA Tour was sometimes compared with the GOAT. He faded into the sidelines when he moved away from the sport to get surgery to repair an Achilles tendon injury in his left leg. He returned to the greens almost 12 years, and decided to do so with the Saudi-funded league.

In a revealing interview with David Feherty on LIV Golf +, Kim opened up about his addiction issues, multiple surgeries, and the toll they took on his life. The biggest takeaway for fans? Kim’s revelation of his multiple surgeries, with one that gives him an eerie connection to Tiger Woods.

Anthony Kim and Tiger Woods went through the same plight

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Kim battled his issues in secret for over a decade, during which time speculation about his health and mental state persisted. “I had multiple, multiple surgeries in a few years and my body is still not what it used to be,” Kim revealed in the interview. “No, I had multiple shoulder surgeries, hand surgery, spinal fusion. Had a lot of injuries and a lot of surgeries,” said Kim.

Kim also opened up and admitted that it was only after Greg Norman approached him, he started hitting the balls again.  The exact year of LIV golfer’s spinal fusion surgery is unknown, but if there is anyone who knows how hard comeback can be after multiple operations is the 15x major champion, Tiger Woods.

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Woods had spinal fusion surgery in 2017, which was crucial to relieve him off the debilitating pain from a degenerative disk in his lower spine. The crippling back pain threatened to destroy his illustrious career. The aforementioned procedure marked fourth back surgery that Woods underwent in mere 2 years. 2 years after his surgery, the golfer made a stellar comeback on the greens and stunned everyone with his 2019 Masters win.

There are more similarities between Woods and Kim than just their medical history. Both on and off the course, they were subject to extreme pressure and expectations.

What do Woods and Kim have in common?

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In 2008, Woods hailed Kim very highly. “He’s the only player I’ve ever seen that actually plays pretty much the entire bag choked up. It does provide a lot of control; you don’t hit the ball as far offline. You hit the ball very straight that way,” said the GOAT about Kim during a Nike golf clinic. Before this happened, the LIV star also praised Woods and said that he wants to be “just like Woods” and “emulate him.” That happened, and he was said to be the next Tiger Woods.

Unveling Anthony Kim’s Major Aim Behind Breaking 12-Years Hiatus

The two golfers were also on Nike’s roster. Woods’s partnership with the brand earlier this year, and there is no exact date as to when Kim’s partnership with the brand ended, but it might have been during his indefinite break. The two golfers have also been through rough patches in their lives, but have come out of it stronger and more willing to shine on the greens. The two are held very highly in the golfing world and have a strong fan base.

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Tiger Woods’ and Anthony Kim’s stories are two powerful examples of grit and perseverance. Kim’s transformation, sparked by his daughter’s birth and his family’s encouragement, represents a rebirth. Although he has had a rough start in LIV events, everyone will be waiting for his glorious days to return.

‘I Don’t Think I Ever Loved It’: Anthony Kim Gets Brutally Honest About His ‘Weird’ Relationship With Golf

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Written by:

Aryan Sharma

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Aryan Sharma is a Golf Writer at EssentiallySports. He shares an immense passion for the sport and is of the strong opinion that Tiger Woods deserves the title of GOAT for all he has accomplished in golf. Aryan is also an expert in all things Bryson DeChambeau and has covered niche stories about the golfer’s needs and wants, especially his desire to play on the PGA Tour once more.
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Edited by:

Riya Singhal

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