Gina Kim with Vicki DiSantis
(Carolinas Golf Association Photo)
CHARLOTTE, NC (May 8, 2016) - When Gina Kim asked her mom what she wanted as a Mother's Day gift, she replied, "Something that starts with a 'T'." Turns out that 'T' stood for 'trophy'.
Starting the round tied for the lead with Kathryn Carson of Mooresville, N.C. Kim bogeyed two of her opening three holes. "I just knew if I did my routine well and stayed consistent, it would be enough for me to win," said Kim, who resides in Chapel Hill, N.C.
She kick started her round with a 30 foot birdie putt on the par-3 4th hole. Tap-in birdies on holes 5 and 7 got Kim to one-under through nine and gave her a three shot lead.
"I thought I had it from the beginning. I was pretty relaxed from the start," said Kim, the 2014 N.C. Junior Girls' Player of the Year. "I wasn't worried about a score, just playing my game."
Carson was able to Kim's lead to two shots after a birdie on hole 14, but a double bogey on the 16th took her out of contention. The high school junior finished with five-over 77, tied for fourth at 150 (+6).
The rounds of the day were shot by Kathleen Sumner of Charleston, S.C. and Callista Rice of Mars Hill, N.C. Each posted one-under 71 to climb the leaderboard into a tie for second at 149 (+5).
Defending champion Emily Cox of Lancaster, S.C. finished T-17. Cox improved after an opening round 81 with 2-over-par 74 Sunday.
Kim's last appearance in the Vicki DiSantis Championship was in 2013, as a seventh grader. Even then, as a 13-year-old competing against 18-year-olds, she finished sixth. Later that same year, Kim captured her first CGA championship at the Twin States Junior Girls'.
For winning this championship, her second CGA title, Kim is invited to represent the CGA in the Mid-Atlantic Challenge Junior Team Matches on July 30-31, 2016 at Williamsburg GC in Williamsburg, VA. The trophy Kim keeps for the next year has Division I and professional golfers engraved on it. LPGA player Austin Ernst won this championship twice (2008 & 2010). Kim, a high school sophomore, has verbally committed to play golf collegiately at Duke University.
Kim left Pine Island Country Club with her mother and the trophy she promised she would win for Mother's Day. "My mom is the person who always comes to follow me on the course while my dad works and supports me playing golf," Kim said. "It means a lot to have to watch over me."
About the Vicki DiSantis Girls' Championship
The Vicki DiSantis Girls' Championship is 36 holes of stroke play. Entry is open to any female amateur golfer ages 12 to 18 as of May 7, 2016, who has not started college, is a legal resident of North Carolina or South Carolina, and is a member in good standing of a club which is a member of the Carolinas Golf Association.
View results for Vicki DiSantis Junior Girls Golf Championship