Forget Rahm…it’s the return of golf’s forgotten man after 12 years who’s finally selling LIV!

Greg Norman targets nostalgia in his quest to win over golf’s middle-ground and here’s why it’s a strategic masterclass.

To the ocean’s King carnivore, the opportunity to dine on a delicacy once dubbed ‘the next Tiger Woods’, was not going to be left to the competition.  

The Great White took the bait again – and this time without guarantee of feeling satiated.

Greg Norman pounced on the chance to ‘rebirth’ Anthony Kim, a prodigy whose meteoric rise to the top table of golf in the late noughties threatened to shake up the sport in a fashion not seen since the man in Sun Day Red.

Greg Norman and Tiger Woods in happier times at the 2009 Presidents Cup.

After 12 years in the wilderness, Kim returns to feature as a wildcard at LIV Golf’s Jeddah event.

“Welcome back and to the LIV Golf family mate. The golf world has missed you,” said Commissioner Norman, unveiling his shiny new trading card.

And while the ‘Hit Points’ of an injury-ravaged Kim are unlikely to prevail in a duel against the Charizard-level attributes of a Jon Rahm or Brooks Koepka, there is a method behind the madness in assembling golf’s most dysfunctional family.

Everyone brings something different to the table, and Kim’s special attack is firmly grounded in rarity and unknown potential for the breakaway tour.

You see, Anthony Kim became a cult-like figure during a whirlwind four-year smash and grab on the PGA Tour, racking up as many professional wins and two top-5 Major finishes.

Anthony Kim during the second round of the 2019 Masters.

A career-high ranking of No.6 was as good as it got with history indicating the best was yet to come.

Kim joined an exclusive club of only five players to win three times on the PGA Tour before turning 25, with Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, and Tiger as company.

A glittering resume seemed an inevitability before Kim’s battles with injury took hold circa 2010, spiraling the Californian’s game to the self-confessed point of ‘non-existence’.

Kim is undoubtedly one of golf’s ‘what might have been’s’, making his resurrection all the more compelling and attractive to both LIV and the PGA Tour alike.

For Norman and the Saudis, Kim’s signature might just be the coup that draws nostalgic eyeballs toward golf’s louder sibling with less judgment. Something that remains LIV’s most stubborn barrier to hurdle.

Is LIV Golf trying to cut ties with polarizing figure Donald Trump?

That’s why this is the shrewdest signing LIV has made to date.

Now in its third season, there is a growing sentiment, even among some traditionalists that the stages of denial, anger, and depression have sailed, and LIV’s needle could be twitching toward one of acceptance for the first time.

It’s a Hail Mary move designed to swing the floating voter, and it’s working.

The star power of Rahm, Koepka, Smith, DeChambeau, and DJ haven’t been the catalysts Norman anticipated. Big names alone are proving insufficient to capture the interest their talent deserves.

Jon Rahm finalizes his LIV Golf contract with CEO Greg Norman.

Kim is the cult hero LIV didn’t know it needed.

As Rob Jerram, TG’s Digital Editor said: “It’s not going to convince me to magically love LIV, but it will make me want to watch, which is something their star signings and billions of investment haven’t managed so far.

“The site of AK hitting balls in a white t-shirt and Vans on the LIV range immediately excited me more than anything else that’s happened in golf this year. It’s a masterstroke from Norman!”

It’s a shot to nothing for LIV – and Kim too for that matter – especially if the terms of his competition-restricting insurance agreement, reportedly with $10 million have expired, as believed.

It means Kim 2.0, updated with hindsight and a guaranteed boatload of Riyal, can have a second crack at the whip on his mission to prove he can compete with the best and win again.

“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, said Kim.

“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. 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.”

And what about expectations on the course? The pressure is well and truly off, as it was for Tiger’s Riviera comeback, just promise us a few more holes than 23 please, Anthony.

Any less and we might not get to see the ‘dance of redemption’ promised by Norman in what I thought was the new trailer to Dune: Part 2.

Perhaps it’s a reference to the shapes he’s been cutting in Sin City’s discotheques over the past 12 years?

Or maybe he has been grinding away in the ‘darkness’, ready to unleash the comeback of all comebacks and prove that age is all but a number in a sport whose elite are more professional, industrious, and conscientious than ever before.

Not exactly characteristics synonymous with Kim in his pomp, once dubbed by Robert Allenby as the “loosest cannon” in America’s 2009 Presidents Cup team.

Anthony Kim attends a DJ Set by Erykah Badu in Dallas, Texas.

Kim’s return in the Saudi-Arabian desert will be his first competitive action since withdrawing after the first round of the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship.

With no financial risk to onboarding Kim, and next to zero expectations in terms of performance, what does Norman have to lose?

Yes, three rounds in the 80s may relegate Kim from golfing folklore for some, but all superheroes must be given the chance to rise again.

LIV Jeddah appears the perfect world in which to make it happen, and if Norman is right, this could just be a defining moment in LIV’s journey.

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About the author

Ross Tugwood is a Golf Equipment Writer for Today's Golfer.

Ross Tugwood

Golf Equipment Writer

Ross Tugwood is a golf equipment writer for, specializing in data, analytics, science, and innovation.

Ross is passionate about optimizing sports performance and has a decade of experience working with professional athletes and coaches for British Athletics, the UK Sports Institute, and Team GB.

He has post-graduate degrees in Performance Analysis and Sports Journalism, enabling him to critically analyze and review the latest golf equipment and technology to help you make better-informed buying decisions.

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