This is a new one.
The Korean Professional Golfers Association has banned their tour’s money leader, Bio Kim (김비오), for three years after he flipped off fans with his middle finger during a tournament.
The AFP reports the ban came down after Kim, who played briefly on the PGA Tour in 2011, reacted in rage after he heard the legally required shutter sound of a smartphone camera during the 16th hole at the DGB Financial Group Volvik Daegu Gyeongbuk Open over the weekend.
The 29-year-old Kim led by a shot at the moment. He turned to the crowd, gave them the middle finger and slammed his club on the ground.
Kim ultimately won the tournament for his second victory on the circuit in 2019. He apologized for the incident and flipping the bird. Two days later, Kim prostrated before TV cameras and apologized further after he took part in an emergency KPGA meeting to determine sanctions for his actions. The KPGA reached a unanimous decision to suspend Kim for 3 years from the Korean tour and fine him approximately $8,350.
“Kim Bi-o damaged the dignity of a golfer with etiquette violation and inappropriate behavior,” the KPGA said in a statement.
Bio Kim won’t be able to finish the season despite leading the tour in earnings as the only multi-time winner this season, as well the Player of the Year points race.
Where Kim will play next is unclear. He could choose to seek status on the Korn Ferry Tour, where he held membership for two seasons including 2018. He could play on the Asian Tour and Japan Tour. With the win on Sunday, he moved up to 302nd in the Official World Golf Ranking.