Can you hear that noise in the background? No, not that one. That’s the tap you’ve left running in the kitchen. Quickly, go and turn it off.

It’s that other noise we’re talking about; the din of a general commotion that’s been whipped up by Anthony Kim’s return to competitive golf this week.

Now, there may be a few of you reading this and muttering, ‘who the heck is Anthony Kim? And why is he causing such a stooshie?’

You’d be forgiven for thinking that, of course. Kim hasn’t played in a tournament for 12 years and has lived the kind of reclusive existence that would make Greta Garbo look like one of the great socialites.

His prolonged absence from the game, however, has merely heightened the fever surrounding his presence at this weekend’s LIV Golf bonanza in Saudi Arabia.

Just in case you’d forgotten – or perhaps didn’t know in the first place – Kim was American golf’s next big thing. When his burgeoning reputation was bolstered by a second-place finish in his first start on the PGA Tour in 2006, superstar status was thrust upon him.

A couple of years later, Kim had barged his way into the world’s top-10 and had become the first US player under the age of 25 to win twice in one year on the tour since Tiger Woods in 2000. He was the heir to the throne and all that.

“If he’s not the best, (then) he’s top three, most talented, top-to-bottom golfer ever,” said Brian Harman, the reigning Open champion who was a Walker Cup team-mate of Kim and waxed lyrical about him on the Sub-par podcast recently.

“It’s incredible what he could do. He could hit it as far as anyone when he wanted to. His short game was just out of this world. And his iron shots? Every one was right out of the barrel.”

Fearless on the course, Kim enjoyed wild parties off it. AK, as he swiftly became known, was a showman and a show off. He was bold, brash and had the swagger that could’ve been accompanied by a rendition of Stayin’ Alive from Saturday Night Fever.

Kim also wore diamond encrusted belts that looked a bit like the gaudy cummerbunds that good old Elvis used to sport during his jumpsuit days in Vegas. Funnily enough, Kim’s re-emergence this week has, in some drooling quarters, just about generated the same sense of anticipation as Presley’s Comeback Special on NBC in 1968.

Whether the 38-year-old can muster a showstopping performance is another matter, of course. By 2012, a succession of injuries, from thumb niggles to wrist complaints and achilles problems, led to a series of withdrawals and a retreat from the limelight.

There was never any official announcement of retirement, just a mysterious vanishing from centre stage at the age of just 26. Reports then claimed that he had received upwards of $10 million from an insurance payout for his career-ending injuries.

Kim’s disappearance into the wilderness inevitably led to him being dubbed golf’s Yeti. There were the odd glimpses here, occasional sightings there and speculation and theories about him everywhere. You half expected this elusiveness to lead to some some slightly blurred, inconclusive picture of Kim on the front of the National Geographic magazine.

In the 12 years since his last competitive outing, a sense of nostalgia and mystique has grown around him and his career has generated the kind of giddy mythologizing that used to be the reserve of Zeus. An opening 82 today, mind you, may see him scampering off back to the wilds.

Then again? “I’m expecting good results,” he declared in his first public utterances for almost a decade. Jumping on board the LIV gravy train has, in the words of the breakaway circuit’s supremo Greg Norman, provided Kim with “the opportunity for this star to be reborn.”

As a LIV marketing ploy, it’s been a pretty canny move. The intrigue and interest, after all, has been considerable even if his signing does little for LIV’s aim for more competitive relevance. Here’s a golfer who hasn’t played for well over a decade pitching up for guaranteed cash in what is, essentially, an exhibition.

Whatever you make of Kim’s return, the man himself remains bullish. “I'm here to bust everyone's ass,” he said after joining LIV as a season-long wild card. But will Kim be a trump card or a busted flush? Time will tell.