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Anthony Kim's return to professional golf is official. The 38-year-old's opening round of 2024 LIV Golf Jeddah featured everything from birdies to bogeys, solid strikes to shanks and ultimately resulted in a 6-over 76. Kim sits in last place in the 54-man field and 14 strokes off the pace set by Jon Rahm and Adrian Meronk at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club.

Expectations were, of course, low for Kim in his first professional start since 2012. According to LIV Golf's broadcast, there were experts who said he couldn't break 80 on the par-70 layout that played a hair over 7,000 yards. Despite the manufactured haters, Kim accomplished that and should only improve as rust continues to shed.

However, plenty has transpired over his decade-plus away from the game including a transformation of the game he once starred in. Kim's ball speed hovered around 170 mph for most of his round — similar to his 2012 numbers. While he was once one of the longest hitters in professional golf, the three-time PGA Tour winner can no longer claim such a title as this figure checks in below average.

Without firepower, the American will have to maneuver his way around the golf course in a different manner. It was ineffective Friday with seven bogeys against one birdie, but as sharpness returns perhaps so will his quality. As it always has been with Kim throughout this saga, only time will tell as he serves as an individual wildcard for the rest of the LIV Golf season.

"Obviously disappointed with the score, but I played much better than the score," said Kim. "I've got a lot to build on. Made a lot of unforced errors. That's unfortunate. But I feel like I'm not that far away."

As for those with a chance to win the golf tournament, LIV Golf's biggest offseason acquisition was at it again. Rahm scorched the par 70 with eight birdies — including three straight to finish — against zero mistakes to card an 8-under 62. He caught his fellow European, Meronk, late in the round and will look to keep the momentum rolling into tomorrow as he searches for his first LIV Golf title in his third start.

The newest Masters invitee, Joaquin Niemann, is just one off the 18-hole pace as he continues his strong start to 2024. The young Chilean stands at 7 under next to Bryson DeChambeau while Louis Oosthuizen, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Phil Mickelson all find themselves inside the top 10.