Anthony Kim's ridiculous return reveals LIV golf's true colors

Anthony Kim's ridiculous return to golf shows what LIV Golf is all about.
Anthony Kim - LIV Golf Invitational - Jeddah
Anthony Kim - LIV Golf Invitational - Jeddah / Francois Nel/GettyImages

The infamous golfer-turned-recluse Anthony Kim made his triumphant return to golf on the LIV tour in Saudi Arabia this week. This fairly ridiculous return shows what LIV Golf is all about; spectacle over substance.

Anthony Kim's ridiculous return reveals LIV golf's true colors

Kim fired a 6-over-par 76 in the first round of the LIV event. He also had a memorable shank which is probably the defining moment from his round.

In all, it is a fairly expectable result for a player who last played tournament golf back in 2012 on the PGA Tour. But the simple fact that he is in this event playing shows just what LIV Golf is all about, and frankly what Kim is all about.

Even the lead-up to his return, promoted on Kim's Instagram with a silly hype video in which he brings up "the haters" like he is dropping a diss track, shows just how empty and soulless this entire endeavor is for both Kim and LIV.

Kim did not join the LIV tour because he cares about competing again or wants to actually get back to the peak of his game. He joined for money, and perhaps vanity for having been out of the spotlight for so long.

In many ways, Kim is the ideal poster boy for the entire LIV tour. He is a guy who, if reporting about his insurance policy which led to him walking away is to be believed, left the game of golf because he no longer cared about it and instead chased the money.

One cannot blame an athlete for getting sick of a sport or walking away, but to try to cash in over a decade later just exposes what you were all about in the first place: money, clout, and celebrity. Not about love of the game or being a competitor.

And to be fair to Kim and LIV, the gimmick is working. There are likely far more people interested in what Kim is going to do this week than who will win the Cognizant Classic, the PGA Tour event this week.

The thing about gimmicks though is they run thin. People grow wary of them. They think, "Hmm I have seen this one before." That is what LIV is ultimately; a gimmick. Most gimmicks simply do not have the unfathomable sums of wealth that are funding this particular gimmick.

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So, it will be fun to see how Kim does this week. And perhaps it will make headlines if he has a good round or does something controversial. But eventually, people move on. When you pump out a soulless, cheap product, predicated entirely on greed, ultimately people ask, "What else is on?"