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October 20, 2010

Truth & Rumors: Anthony Kim 'loose cannon' in Vegas

Posted at 12:25 PM by Steve Beslow | Categories: Anthony Kim, Ian Baker-Finch, Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh

Anthony Kim has promised to cut down on his partying ways, but apparently that doesn't mean he's going to become a homebody. AK is in Las Vegas for Justin Timberlake's tournament this week and, according to Norm Clarke of The Las Vegas Review-Journal, the young Tour star is making his presence known...loudly.

Pro golfer Anthony Kim could use a lesson or two to brush up his gaming table etiquette.

His salty language and screaming was so bad that Kim, 25, was asked to tone it down Monday by Bellagio management.

"He is one loose cannon," said a dealer, who said Kim may have set a personal record for F-bombs while playing high-stakes craps over the weekend.

Kim and poker superstar Phil Ivey were seated at the same table on Friday, ordering cognac and high-end whiskey.

I'm going to give Kim the benefit of the doubt here for a couple of reasons: 1. These stories seem to always make a mountain out of a molehill. (I find it pretty hard to believe that Anthony Kim was the hardest cursing guy any Las Vegas dealer has ever seen...though I guess someone has to be.) 2. There's no way Phil Ivey is going to let anyone, even Anthony Kim, sully his reputation in Vegas. That would be like letting someone walk into your house and insult your children. Regardless, while it may not seem like it at first glance, this story is great news for the PGA Tour. Somebody actually recognized an American golfer out in the real world, and he isn't named Tiger or Phil!

Tiger's missing club

As we get closer to November, we get closer to the unthinkable--the one-year anniversary of Tiger Woods' last win. Since his two-stroke victory at the JBWere Australian Masters in 2009, Woods has been shut out, and Down Under legend Ian Baker-Finch thinks he knows why:

Ian Baker-Finch calls it the 15th club.

It's what made Tiger Woods arguably the greatest player the game has seen, allowing him to run roughshod over opponents for most of his career.

But according to Baker-Finch, Woods won't be armed with his 15th club when he returns to Australia in less than three weeks to defend the Masters.

"I think Tiger will come back to the same level of performance we have seen him at over the years -- I don't think it will take him long," Baker-Finch said.

"I don't think he will ever be the player he was before because he had a 15th club in the bag.

"He knew he was the best and he knew everyone else knew he was the best, and I think that was a big thing."

You can be sure that Tiger has his eye on the Australian Masters as an opportunity to bookend the worst year of his career (and possibly his life) with wins. I expect Woods to play like a man on fire--this tournament is about nothing but pride and honor for Tiger...oh, wait, I almost forgot the $3 million bribe appearance fee Woods gets just for showing up. Ok, maybe it's about pride, honor and a boatload of cash, but he's still going to be in it to win it.

IMG boss says he bet on Vijay, not against Tiger

The Daily Beast has a great story on a lawsuit filed by James Agate against his "friend," billionaire Teddy Forstmann, who is the head of talent agency giant IMG. I highly recommend reading the whole article, but the most intriguing plot line (for this blog at least) involves the accusation that Forstmann is a habitual gambler who has laid down millions of dollars over the years, including betting against his own client, Tiger Woods:

Forstmann, Agate says, had a massive and nasty gambling habit (wagering millions over the years), he was dipping into IMG company funds to pay off loses; Forstmann bet against IMG's clients, including Tiger Woods...

In terms of betting against Tiger Woods, one of IMG's biggest clients, Forstmann said he can disprove Agate allegation. Woods, he explained, was playing Vijay Singh at the Masters, and he placed a bet through Agate on Singh because Singh was a personal friend.

"This guy is making it sound like I'm betting against Tiger Woods," Forstmann said. "Vijay is my friend for many years and I bet maybe $5,000 on him winning the Masters. It was a 15, 20-to-1 shot and I would have felt like a genius if he won."

It's going to take quite a bit of wrangling before all of this is sorted out, so don't expect this story to go away for a while, especially because Forstmann is also accused of betting on tennis matches--including those between IMG clients Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Since gambling and tennis seem to be (at least we hope) a more lethal combination than gambling and golf, Forstmann may have a lot of explaining to do if this case makes its way to trial. Although, considering the suit also claims Forstmann (who has adopted two African children and is dating celebrity chef Padma Lakshmi) is a racist, you might want to take some of this with a healthy grain of salt.

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