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A ‘Big Brother’ to Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan Boldly Stepped Up to Take Care of His Vanishing Successor 14 Years Ago

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Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods are two of the most significant entities in the sports arena. Where one dominated the basketball court through his skills, another showcased what dominance looked like with a club in his hand. And hardly anyone can deny the hold they have, through inspiration, on fans and professionals alike. This is where the 2008 Ryder Cup rookie comes into the picture.

The story shared by the 2023 Ryder Cup assistant captain highlights the inspirational mentoring side of ‘big brother’ Jordan who took care of the young athlete 14 years ago. Interestingly, this young professional was meant to be the “next Tiger Woods”. Alas! The strive did not see any light.

In a recent episode on The Scoop with journalist Claire Rogers, under the banner of golf.com, Fred Couples divulged his friendship with famous basketball star Michael Jordan. The golf professional started by addressing the funniest incident that had occurred between the two.

Back in 2009, the golfer had called up the basketball icon to inform him of his presence at the President’s Cup as an assistant captain. Initially, the former Chicago Bulls player had thought that his friend was kidding about it. However, Couples in immediate response had informed on National TV that Jordan would be a part of the team.

Zipping forward to the actual tournament, the legendary basketball star had been highly empathetic to all the youngsters on the team. With the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson around, it would have been easy for the rookies to get overwhelmed, undoubtedly.

However, the presence of Jordan eased out matters, with him taking “care of Anthony Kim,” a rising star at that time. He had also been extremely helpful to Hunter Mahan and Sean O’Hair, looking after each of them to the best of his capabilities.

The humor kicked in when Couples revealed everyone’s star-struck reaction to the 60-year-old veteran. Though it was the “cool-cat” Kim whose reaction was unexpected. On one hand, the golfer had “every Air Jordan shoe there was,” on the other, his reaction seemed to be much more collected than what would have been expected of a young player meeting an icon.

What looked like the start of an era, soon ended in 2012 when Anthony Kim said goodbye to the golf world indirectly. He never actually announced his break from the game, however, no one has seen the golfer since the 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational. But, it doesn’t deter a golf fan from recalling his power on the greens and association with legendary Tiger Woods.

How are Anthony Kim and Tiger Woods connected?

There is no simple answer to this question. While there weren’t any kinship ties between the two, the spirit of golf bonded the two golfers; to the extent that one was the veteran and the other an enthusiast. Without any direct connection between Kim and Woods, the golf world associated the two based on their skills.

The magnetism of Anthony Kim back in 2008, especially after the Ryder Cup, was so high that it led to him being referred to as “the next Tiger Woods.” The golfer not only won two tournaments on PGA Tour under 25 just like the 15-time major winner but also defeated the in-form Sergio Garcia at Valhalla Golf Club. “And he was so consistent. And he was never afraid of competition. He was super competitive when you got him on the golf course,” said Kim’s fellow PGA Tour player Mahan once about him.

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