Anthony Kim kerbs his partying ways

For a long time talented American Anthony Kim was a walking headline, but he was finding his name in the sports pages for all the wrong reasons.

After having to spend some injury time on the sidelines in 2011, the PGA Tour star is now looking to wipe the slate clean and start afresh this season.

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Kim burst on to the PGA Tour fulltime in 2007 in eye-catching style with five Top 10s before capturing the first of three tour victories a year later in 2008 when he qualified for the victorious US Ryder Cup team.

Yet Kim was slowly running off the rails and getting a reputation for his partying ways.

His all-hours partying ways came to a head when his manners were blamed for Kim withdrawing from last year’s Tour event in Las Vegas, even though his official excuse was a thumb injury.

Kim denied the accusations but how could he explain the Tweet from Palms Casino DJ Exodus that said: “Anthony Kim is an animal… 115 bottles then top it off with a 25k bottle of Dom, which he showered the dance floor with.”

There were also reports Kim had been asked to tone it down by management at the Bellagio Casino after some loud-mouthed behaviour at the tables.

Kim had also bragged about having chalked-up a $US66,000 alcohol bill at Sun City during last year’s Nedbank Challenge.

It doesn’t stop there.

There was also a much-publicised spat with Australian Robert Allenby during the 2009 Presidents Cup that didn’t do Kim’s reputation any favours.

The golfer born in Los Angeles to Korean parents and being promoted as one of the new stars of the PGA Tour, was gaining a reputation more for partying than his skills on the golf course.

Earlier this year Kim was forced to spend time on the sidelines recovering from thumb surgery and in the time away the 26-year-old believes he has become mentally stronger and is now relishing the opportunity to recapture his winning form during the 2012 PGA Tour season.

“There have been a lot of low points both mentally and physically this past season,” he told Golf Grinder recently.

“Golf is important to me and even though I have fun with it, it’s still something I look upon seriously. I like to play well.”

“Unfortunately that was not the case this year.”

“It wasn’t just the winning I was missing. I wasn’t playing well and it was frustrating.”

“I had been working hard but had to take a month-and-a-half off. But in doing so it turned around my game.”

“I don’t how it happened but it did and I am now looking forward to doing better.”

“I learned a lot about myself and I’ve had time to grow.”

“Mentally I am a lot tougher than I was because I just had to grind so much to make cuts and that’s sometimes harder than trying to win golf tournaments.”

“Now I have learned how to better manage my game, I feel like I am a better player.”

“I’ve sort of wiped the slate clean ahead of starting this season.”

“And I am also going into 2012 feeling mentally stronger than I have ever been.”

“At least in those six weeks off I caught up with some old friends who I hadn’t seen for some time and I also enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with my four dogs.”

“I just managed to get to do the things I can’t do because I travel so much.”

Kim’s last victory was a week before the 2010 Masters when he captured the Shell Houston Open.

And while he was a member of Paul Azinger’s Ryder Cup team which won at Valhalla, Kim failed to qualify for last year’s Celtic Manor team or qualify automatically for the American side for the recent Presidents Cup.

Kim contested 26 PGA Tour events in 2011 but missed the cut in 11 of them while he was also forced to withdraw from one and was disqualified from the Canadian Open.

His best finish was a fifth behind Darren Clarke in the British Open at Royal St George’s.

Amazingly, Kim still managed to win $US1.085 million in prizemoney and finish 79th on the PGA Tour money list.

“While it has been a frustrating season for me, it’s never as bad as it seems,” he said.

“The good thing is I am starting to find my form and I’m excited just to be able to break 70 again as it didn’t look like I could do that for a while.”

Anthony Kim seems a likeable young man and the world of golf wants to see him do well.

Hopefully, this year we’ll get to read more about Kim for his efforts inside the ropes.