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Anthony Kim messed up the message in Las Vegas

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Whatever happened to Anthony Kim in Las Vegas this week, it goes down as a failed opportunity.

He lost a chance to send a terrific message.

For a guy fighting the image of a man who chases fun too deep into the night, Las Vegas would have been the perfect place to win, or at least make a strong showing.

Instead, Kim sets himself up to fight an old battle anew. No matter what really happened at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino Monday, his party boy image is renewed after his withdrawal from this week’s Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Kim cited problems with his left thumb as the reason for his withdrawal. He underwent surgery to repair ligaments in early May. If you missed it, the withdrawal came amid a report he was partying boisterously late into Monday night and early Tuesday morning. The Las Vegas Review & Journal reported the casino asked Kim to tone down his act with a dealer telling the newspaper Kim “was one loose cannon” using excessively foul language at a craps table. Golf.com reported that Palms Casino's DJ Exodus tweeted this at 3:02 a.m. Tuesday morning: “Anthony Kim is an animal 115 bottles then to top it off a 25K bottle of Dom, which he showered the dance floor with . . .”

Kim’s IMG management team has termed the reports “overblown.”

These reports are unfortunate for Kim because he got this year off to such a strong start. He had players doing double takes with his arrival for the CA Championship at Doral in March on a Monday for practice rounds. He typically never does Mondays on the PGA Tour. He rarely does Tuesdays, but he arrived looking impressively trim, fit and strong. Three weeks later, he won the Shell Houston Open and a week after that he finished third at the Masters. A bad thumb and now some bad publicity have created bad momentum for Kim.

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