Anthony Kim opens up on ‘very dark moments’ that led to his 12-year disappearance from professional golf, detailing battle with addiction and multiple surgeries – one month on from his return as LIV Golf wild card

Anthony Kim detailed the struggles he endured, including multiple surgeries and addiction, that forced him to step away from professional golf without a word.

The 38-year-old, a former prodigy who spent more than a decade in the wilderness, made a long-awaited return to professional golf at the $20 million LIV Golf event in Jeddah in early March.

A month later, the three-time PGA Tour winner described the dark moments he experienced over the past 12 years, up until his sudden disappearance, which remains shrouded in mystery until now.

β€œGolf is important to me and not important to me at the same time,” Kim said during a sit-down interview with LIV’s David Feherty. ‘I’ve had very dark moments. I’ve had some really bad moments. I felt very lonely, even though there are a million people around. I had to sort out my thoughts and figure out what my purpose was on this planet.”

In the video, which appeared on the LIV Golf app on Tuesday morning, Kim revealed that it was “not that long ago” that he started hitting balls. Three months in fact, around the same time he got the call from LIV CEO Greg Norman.

Anthony Kim explained the struggles he has endured, including surgeries and addiction

The former child prodigy returned to professional golf after twelve years on the LIV Golf circuit

The former child prodigy returned to professional golf after twelve years on the LIV Golf circuit

He also revealed that the PGA Tour had reached out about a possible return, but claimed he wasn’t really considering playing again until Norman contacted him.

However, the University of Oklahoma product insisted that his wife, Emily, was the catalyst for his comeback.

‘I have an interesting relationship with golf. I don’t think I’ve ever loved it. What’s really weird for me right now is that I’m falling in love with the game,” Kim explained.

β€œThat’s such a weird place for me because golf was filled with pressure. Golf for me was filled with many different emotions.

‘Because my family went through a lot to give me the opportunity to play golf. So with that extra pressure I was willing to risk a lot more. That was my nature. I was aggressive on the golf course. I was aggressive off the golf course. And that led to my downfall.”

He credited his two-year-old daughter Bella as his inspiration for turning his life around, while adding that he has lost about “98 percent” of the people he used to surround himself with.

β€œI’m not going to lie, I was around bad people,” Kim said. ‘People who took advantage of me. Scammers. And when you’re 24, 25, even 30 years old, you don’t realize what snakes live under your roof.”

Kim withdrew after the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship in May 2012 after struggling for most of the year and missing cuts due to an Achilles injury.

The 38-year-old revealed that the PGA Tour had been in touch about a possible return

The 38-year-old revealed that the PGA Tour had been in touch about a possible return

Kim revealed that it wasn't that long before LIV's Jeddah event that he started hitting balls

Kim revealed that it wasn’t that long before LIV’s Jeddah event that he started hitting balls

He received an insurance settlement and while he said he couldn’t reveal details of the settlement, he insisted he didn’t just take the money and run.

‘I have had several shoulder operations. Hand surgery, spinal fusion, but had a lot of injuries and a lot of surgeries,” Kim said.

‘I think I’m actually hitting the ball further now than when I left the game. So maybe some of this metal will help.”

Since returning to golf, Kim has finished 53rd and 50th in LIV’s 54-player field in his two starts on the breakaway circuit.

But with his domestic return scheduled for this week at Trump National Doral in Miami, Kim believes he can return to the top of the game.

‘I believe I can absolutely do it at that level again. I am more prepared for success than ever,” he explained.

β€œI don’t think I was in my first career because I didn’t know what to expect. It was my mistakes that caused me to fall into this deep hole. It certainly helps that there are better people in this day and age.”