29-year-old Korean pro Bio Kim was suspended for three years after he gave the crowd the middle finger during a Korean Tour event.
The Tour said that Kim, “damaged the dignity of a golfer with etiquette violation and inappropriate behavior.”
Kim flipped off the crowd and slammed his club into the ground when a camera clicked in his backswing – understandable – during the DGB Financial Group Volvik Daegu Gyeongbuk Open last Sunday. He still went on to win the tournament, but was fined over $8,000 and then suspended for THREE YEARS!
Are you kidding me? There are people who commit actual crimes who don’t spend anywhere near that amount of time in jail.
This prompted PGA Tour golfer Kevin Na to call out the Korean Tour during his Wednesday press conference at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
“First of all, I don’t know where to start.
“What he did was wrong. Kind of surprised me. He’s not that kind of person. I talked to him on the phone [on Tuesday]. We exchanged some texts. From what I’ve gathered, I guess it wasn’t the first time that happened that day. He was fed up with it. Yes, what he did was wrong. Should he be fined? Yes. Three years is ridiculous.”
Na knows that the severity of the punishment does not meet the crime because the Korean Tour is taking the man’s job away.
“You’re taking a man’s job for three years. Yes, he was unprofessional and there should be consequences for it, but not take a man’s job away for three years. At the same time, the spectator was disrespecting the game and the player at the same time. Yes, it happened, but three years is — I mean, for what? I mean, at the same time, I also think he should get an opportunity to make things right. Apologize, whether it’s to the fan, to that individual fan, the golf world, Korean media, but I hope — I mean, I’m trying everything I can to help him.
“He’s depressed. I mean, I can hear it in his voice. He sounded just torn. His wife is pregnant. I know his wife is pregnant. I said, You know what? I know you’re going through a rough time. Be good to your wife. I am sure it’s hard for her. Like I said, I’m trying everything I can. Not that I can do much.”
Na even said that he could continue on the subject because of how ridiculous it is, but chose to end his thoughts there.
“I guess I can keep going on,” he said. “I’ll just leave it at that.”
I’m with Na on this. The Korean Tour should not have dropped such a heavy hammer. A fine is ok, and a suspension of a couple events is even ok, but three years?
Michael is the founder and Editor in Chief of The Stiff Shaft. He is also the Senior Editor of Golfweek Custom Media and covers the World Long Drive for Golf Channel.
He has 8+ years of covering golf, is an LSU fan, and prefers to hit driver-wedge as often as possible.