South Surrey’s Lauren Kim – one of the province’s top young golfers – is headed south next month, to compete in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.
The 13-year-old Kim, who will head into Grade 9 at Earl Marriott Secondary this fall, earned her spot at the prestigious tournament after earning one of four spots that were up for grabs at a sectional qualifier earlier this week at North Vancouver’s Seymour Golf & Country Club. The qualifier was one of 24 being staged, but the only one in Canada.
Kim shot a one-over par 73 at the one-round event Tuesday, which was good enough to land in a third-place tie with Vancouver golfer Nonie Marler. The top two finishers were Min A Yoon and Kumkang Park, both from Seoul, South Korea.
Two other Surrey golfers finished as U.S. Amateur alternate selections – Angel Lin and Hannah Lee.
Lin, who is heading into her Grade 12 year Elgin Park Secondary and is committed to golf at Boston College in 2020, is just one week removed from winning the B.C Women’s Amateur Championship, which was held at Nanaimo Golf Club.
Lin shot a final-round score of one-under par to come from behind to capture the title. She played the final 36 holes at five-under par.
Back at Seymour Tuesday, Kim’s round didn’t finish in spectacular fashion – she double-bogeyed her final hole – but told British Columbia Golf after the round that, despite the hiccup, she was happy with the end result.
“I didn’t finish the way I would have liked, but I made it,” she said. “That’s all I can ask for.”
In total, 33 players teed off at the event.
Kim said approach shots into Seymour’s greens were tough.
“I feel like the greens were quite challenging today,” she said. “They were firm so you couldn’t really land it on the greens. You had to figure out where you should land and then hope it would hop onto the greens.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship is scheduled for Aug. 5-11 at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Miss.
Winning her way into the U.S. tournament is the latest accomplishment for Kim, who has racked up plenty of wins on local and national junior-golf circuits despite usually squaring off against much older competition.
In May, Kim – who plays out of the Semiahmoo Golf Club in Blaine, Wash. – won the junior girls division of the Future Links Pacific Championship, which was held at Pitt Meadows Golf Club, and in April, she topped the podium in the 15- to 18-year-old girls division of the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Series’ IMG Academy Junior Worlds Qualifier, which was held at South Surrey’s Morgan Creek Golf Course.
Her three-day score at the Future Links event also set a new tournament record. She won the tournament in 2017, as well. Further adding to her impressive resume, Kim won the 2018 Maple Leaf Tour’s national championship – held last November in Phoenix – also in the 15- to 18-year-old girls division.
Her April victory at Morgan Creek earned her a spot at the IMG Academy Junior World Championships, which were held earlier this month in San Diego.
That event, held July 8-12, was Kim’s only misstep in recent months – she missed the cut.
“Everything was just a little bit off,” she said.
With the temporary blip on the radar now behind her, Kim said she is excited for the U.S. Amateur.
“I am hoping for a good experience and hopefully a good finish as well,” she told BC Golf.