Anthony Kim won't win a single tournament in 2011 because there is more to his thumb injury than he lets on.
Kim, widely considered as an up-and-coming star, admitted he liked to party and drink as a rookie on the PGA Tour in 2006. So when he withdrew from the Justin Timberlake Shriners Open Golf Tournament at Las Vegas, people were quick to judge on the reasons why.
One report said a Bellagio dealer dubbed Kim a "loose cannon" and a tweet from DJ Exodus, who was performing at a club in Vegas, read, "Anthony Kim is an animal 115 bottles then to top it off a 25k bottle of Dom, which he showered the dance floor with."
Now, I am a huge Kim fan and his 2008 Ryder Cup-dominating performance still ranks in my top-10 memorable sports moments. Plus, I'm all for this 25-year-old adult having fun and enjoying his hard-earned money.
Though it seems like Kim reverted back to the 2006 party habits that almost cost him his Tour card, I think his thumb injury is so bad that he really can't practice on it.
Kim had surgery on his thumb this year and I understand it's not an easy injury to rehab, especially for golf. However, the LPGA Tour's Paula Creamer won her first major this year with a semi-rehabbed thumb, even though she admittedly couldn't practice everyday and would have to hit balls off tees to minimize pain.
In 2008, Kim had rededicated himself to practicing and was the last person seen on a driving range at the AT&T Congressional, so I know it's not that he won't practice.
He is not the same 21-year-old rookie who partied more than practicing, but I think his thumb injury is so bad that even holding a club must be painful.
The Masters is over five months away, but I'm not sure he can get physically and mentally prepared by then.
Because everyone else has significantly improved while Kim's skill set stayed the same or regressed.
Players considered in the same class as him like Rickie Fowler, Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy all had productive 2010 seasons.
Veteran players like Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Paul Casey and Matt Kuchar moved up to the world's top-10 ranking after a successful 2010, too.
Everyone else got better, some significantly, but Kim has been playing with his thumbs on the sidelines.
The Bellagio dealer called him a loose cannon, and I think it's because he knows he will be playing against a stacked deck in 2011.
As a fan first and a writer second, I'd like to see Kim refocus and win his first major in 2011. However, I can't even see him winning a tournament let alone a major next season because he should've been practicing fully by now.
But until Kim declares his thumb is at 100 percent, the only thing he should spend $25,000 on is a thumb specialist.