[PHOTO: Darren Carroll]

After weeks of chatter and speculation, Anthony Kim reportedly will return to professional competition.

Citing multiple sources, Golf Channel reported on Saturday that 38-year-old Kim, who hasn’t played pro golf since 2012, will start in next week’s LIV Golf’s event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He will be a designated “wildcard” player – an option the league adopted this year – which means he’ll compete as an individual player and not on one of LIV’s 13 teams.

The enduring mystery of Anthony Kim

Kim, whose promising career was plagued by numerous injuries, has been an enigmatic figure since leaving the PGA Tour with a torn Achilles tendon he suffered in the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship. There have been only sporadic shared videos of Kim hitting balls on a driving range since then, and in 2014, Golf.com reported that Kim was staying away from a return because he was collecting on a $US10 million insurance policy that prevented him from competing.

The speculation of late was that Kim might play for LIV because he could potentially be paid more upfront by the Saudis than the insurance was worth.

Talented, with a big personality and a Nike endorsement alongside Tiger Woods, Kim rose to stardom when he became only the fifth player in 30 years to win three times on the PGA Tour before the age of 25. The others at the time were Woods, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott.

Anthony Kim is not who you think he was

Beyond the wins, there were other notable highlights. In the 2008 Ryder Cup, Kim contributed to a US team triumph at Valhalla by routing Garcia 5&4 in singles. A year later, he went 3-1 in the Presidents Cup at Harding Park in another American victory. At the 2009 Masters, Kim shot 65 in the second round, recording 11 birdies. His best finish in a major was third in the 2010 Masters won by Mickelson.

A week before that Masters, Kim notched the last of his tour wins in the Shell Houston Open.

In a rare interview with the Associated Press in 2015, Kim referred to golf as “a fond memory of mine”.

But he would not commit then to ever playing, and it’s been nearly nine years since that conversation.

“I’ve got so much ground to make up from injuries – rotator cuff, labrum, spinal fusion, hand injury,” Kim said. “I’ve had six or seven surgeries in the last three-and-a-half years.”