Free Bio Kim?
The Korea Professional Golfers’ Association announced Wednesday that Kim’s suspension was reduced from three years to one after a meeting of the tour’s board of directors, according to the Yonhap News Agency. Kim will still be fined $8,350 and ordered to complete 120 hours of community service.
The tour’s money leader this season, Kim will be eligible to return in 2021.
Kim made worldwide news Sept. 29 when he lost his temper after a fan’s cellphone camera shutter went off during his downswing. Kim turned and flipped off the fan, then slammed his club into the ground. He went on to win the event – his second title of the season – and apologized afterward for his outburst.
It wasn’t enough to save his job, as the KPGA slapped him with a three-year ban, saying that he had “damaged the dignity of a golfer with (an) etiquette violation and inappropriate behavior.” Following the announcement, Kim was shown kneeling in front of a row of television cameras, begging for forgiveness, but he ultimately accepted his penalty and said that he wouldn’t appeal the decision.
At the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Kevin Na was among those who stood up for Kim, saying the three-year ban for making an obscene gesture was “ridiculous.” His caddie, Kenny Harms, sported a “Free Bio Kim” hat.
“You’re taking a man’s job for three years,” Na said at the time. “Yes, he was unprofessional and there should be consequences for it, but don’t take a man’s job away for three years.”