[PHOTO: Francois Nel]

Golf fans waited nearly a dozen years to watch Anthony Kim play again. They’ll have to wait at least a bit longer to watch him play well.

Kim’s long-awaited return to professional golf got off to a somewhat expected rough start on Friday at the LIV Golf Jeddah event. Playing in his first tournament since the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship, Kim shot an opening six-over-par 76.

WATCH: Anthony Kim says he’s ‘here to bust everyone’s ass’ in video onslaught promoting his return to pro golf

The man who once made a record 11 birdies in one round at the Masters carded only one red figure in his comeback round. Kim is in last place in the field of 54 after the opening day, 14 shots behind co-leaders Jon Rahm and Adrian Meronk.

Kim is playing as a wildcard for the remainder of the 2024 LIV season and not on one of the league’s 13 teams. Rahm’s Legion XIII leads the team competition after 18 holes.

Starting his round on the par-5 18th at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, Kim found the fairway with his first tee shot, but bogeyed the hole and was never able to get back to even-par. His worst moment came on the par-4 fifth, where he hit a full-bore shank on his approach shot.

Hey, even Tiger Woods recently hit a shank at Riviera after a long layoff. Kim did bounce back with his lone birdie of the day at the next hole, and he was able to avoid any double-bogeys or worse. But his seven bogeys showed plenty of rust, which, again, was to be expected.

WATCH: Anthony Kim hits first tee shot back with cameras rolling, promptly asks for a ‘mulligan’

After all, Kim’s most recent tournament came more than two years before one of his Friday playing partners, Cameron Smith, even made his PGA Tour debut. Since that event, Kim has been plagued by injuries and has said there was a period when he didn’t even own a set of clubs.

Perhaps the most surprising part of Kim’s first round back is that he wore a collared shirt. Not surprisingly, between that and his hat, Kim was sporting about as many LIV logos as he made bogeys.

The clubs Anthony Kim is using for his comeback blend a modern approach with a throwback mentality

Golf’s most mysterious figure hadn’t made any public comments in nearly a decade until earlier this week. And – also not surprisingly – he didn’t talk to the media after signing for 76. But he offered this brief, positive assessment of his round.

Just by showing up, he’s already a lot closer than he’s been in a long time.