Former PGA Tour player Bio Kim has been suspended by the Korea Professional Golfers Association for three years after making the wrong kind of birdie on the golf course.
Kim, 29, is currently the leading money winner on the KPGA and was looking set to cruise to a victory in the DGB Financial Group Volvik Daegu Gyeongbuk Open over the weekend. Then, a camera click went off with Kim playing on the 16th hole, and the golfer didn’t react well, making an obscene gesture and flipping the bird toward the gallery and the offending noise.
Here’s a look at how things played out:
Kim did end up going on to win the tournament in the end, proving how the best players can and do often rise above noises and gallery intimidation in order to win on the biggest stages. In this case, the damage had already been done though, with Kim quickly being suspended for the incident and how it played out in the public sphere. In the age of social media, it’s not a surprise to see such an act captured and spread around for the world to see.
As the KPGA quickly revealed in a statement as shown in a piece by Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner, with the act, they believed “Kim damaged the dignity of a golfer with etiquette violation and inappropriate behavior.” Thus, the reason for the three year ban, which is a significant punishment. According to Lavner’s piece, Kim was also fined what equates to $8,350 in American dollars for the act.
After turning pro in 2009 and graduating from qualifying school in 2010, Kim played on the PGA Tour in 2011 and has 5 Korean Tour wins to his credit. Additionally, he has 3 OneAsia Tour wins as well. In the states, Kim’s best finish came in the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, where he finished T45 as Justin Rose went on to claim the title. Kim is also a two time Order of Merit winner on both the Korean Tour (2010) and OneAsia Tour (2012).
Professional golfers back in the states have been no stranger to some unique on course blowups themselves. PGA Tour Champions player Woody Austin once famously damaged his putter on his head after missing a putt on the green. Even Tiger Woods has had notable run ins with photographers on the course leading him to foul language, but has never crossed the line in terms of making such a gesture.
Most meltdowns in golf have classically had more to do with club tossing, breaking and damaging through the years rather than obscene gestures toward the gallery. Here’s a look at a collection of some of the more notable cases of frustrated golfers playing out live:
Kim apologized for his act, but it does not sound as if that will matter much in the end. This simply proves that losing your temper on the golf course can sometimes have lasting and devastating consequences, proving once and for all that no matter the often high stakes, golf is simply a game.