Bio Kim's three year suspension on Korean Tour for obscene gesture reduced to one year
A disciplinary committee of the Korea Professional Golfers' Association have reduced Bio Kim's three year suspension from the Tour to one year, according to a report by the Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo.
Kim, who played on the PGA Tour in 2011, was originally handed a three year ban from the Korean PGA Tour after he made an obscene gesture to a member of the crowd at the DGB Financial Group Volvik Daegu Gyeongbuk Open in September.
The 29-year-old had raised his middle finger to the crowd after a noise made by a phone camera that affected his tee shot on the 16th hole on Sunday.
He went on to win the event (becoming the first multiple winner of 2019), but despite apologising after his round and on his knees in front of television cameras following an emergency meeting with the KPGA, his penance wasn't enough to save him from suspension.
The KPGA announced that they had unanimously voted to ban Kim for three years from their Tour for damaging the 'dignity of a golfer with etiquette violation', and also fined him 10 million won - the equivalent of £6,796. He was the leader of this season's Korean Tour's money list at the time.
The decision was met with a lot of backlash from this side of the World, and PGA Tour winner Kevin Na called the decision 'ridiculous'.
“You’re taking a man’s job for three years,” Na had said at the PGA Tour’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. “Yes, he was unprofessional and there should be consequences for it, but not take a man’s job away for three years. At the same time, the spectator was disrespecting the game and the player at the same time.”
But on Wednesday, there was some good news for Kim: A new decision was reached to reduce his suspension to one year, with 120 hours of community service. The fine of 10 million won remains.
He will be able to return to the Tour in 2021.