Kim ‘encouraged’ despite finishing last in return

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Despite finishing 33 strokes back, Anthony Kim opted to take an optimistic view following his last-place finish in LIV Golf Jeddah in King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia.

The 38-year-old Kim, who admittedly was dealing with significant rust in his game as he made his return to professional golf after a nearly 12-year retirement, carded a 4-over-par 74 on Sunday following consecutive rounds of 6-over-par 76 in the three-day event.

“I’m very encouraged. I’m excited about what’s coming,” Kim said. “My game is starting to shape up. I’m doing things that I used to do before. I’m just looking forward to a great year.”

Joaquin Niemann won the event — his second LIV Golf title in three starts — by 4 strokes over Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.

Slow starts plagued Kim over the final two days in Saudi Arabia. He found himself at 6-over through his first seven holes Saturday and 4-over during that same stretch Sunday before settling down both times.

“I definitely played a lot better than the score actually showed,” Kim said. “I felt more comfortable today than I did the first two days. I shot 4-over par, but it could have been an under-par round if I had just cleaned up a few things.

“Unfortunately, it’s still taking me a couple holes to get comfortable. I think most of my over-par scores are the first six holes. If I can just figure a way to get my mind right before I get out there, I think I’ll be in great shape.”

Kim turned pro in 2006 and recorded PGA Tour victories at the 2008 Wachovia Championship, 2008 AT&T National and 2010 Houston Open. He climbed as high as No. 6 in the world rankings in September 2008.

Field Level Media and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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