Golfer gets 3-year ban for middle finger gesture

2019-10-01 11:27
Golf fans (Getty Images)
Golf fans (Getty Images)

Seoul - A South Korean golfer has been suspended for three years for sticking up his middle finger at the crowd over a cellphone camera noise, the Korea Professional Golfers' Association (KPGA) said on Tuesday.

Kim Bi-o reacted angrily after he was startled by the shutter sound of a smartphone camera which affected his shot at the 16th hole at Sunday's DGB Financial Group Volvik Daegu Gyeongbuk Open.

Kim, who leading by a stroke at the time, turned to the crowd and made the gesture before slamming his club on the ground in frustration.

The 29-year-old went on to win the tournament - becoming the first two-time winner on the tour in 2019 - and later apologised for losing his temper.

On Tuesday, Kim kneeled in front of television cameras as he fought back tears and apologised again after attending an emergency KPGA meeting over his action.

But the KPGA later said it had reached a unanimous decision to suspend the golfer for three years from the Korean tour with a fine of 10 million won ($8 350).

"Kim Bi-o damaged the dignity of a golfer with etiquette violation and inappropriate behaviour," it said in a statement.

Kim leads the tour in money and Player of the Year points, but the suspension means he will not be able to finish the season.

Kim, who has six professional wins to his name, played on the PGA Tour in 2011 after earning his place via Q-School. He also had two seasons on the second-tier tour.

Read more on:    golf


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.