Jae Kim (AGC photo)
MORGAN HILL, Calif. (Jan. 12, 2019) – Jae Kim’s day didn’t start out as a particularly spectacular one, but by the time the 18-year-old reached his third hole at Coyote Creek Golf Course, it had begun to look a lot brighter.
Kim, a junior at UC Davis, logged five birdies in his opening nine holes (he started his round on No. 10) on the way to an opening 4-under 68 in the AmateurGolf.com Silicon Valley Amateur. After the turn he had two more birdies on the front nine even as the wind picked up. With seven birdies for the day, Kim tied his single-round birdie record.
“Inside 150 yards, I hit pretty good shots,” he said in explanation of the low scoring. He put most of his approach shots within 10 feet, and even left himself with a tap-in or two.
Interestingly, Kim went into the event without a practice round at Coyote Creek.
Kim’s 68 came alongside his closest pursuer. UC Davis teammate Daniel Kim, a freshman, had three birdies and a bogey for a 69 that left him in second.
Four players logged opening rounds of 2-under 70 to land in a tie for third, including St. Mary’s sophomore Ethan Farnam. A consistent day for the Illinois native included four birdies and two bogeys.
Redmond Lyons, who finished fourth at last week’s AmateurGolf.com San Diego Amateur, had 15 pars to go with an eagle, a birdie and a bogey. He still ended up with 70.
San Diego State’s Christian Banke along with Jackson Lake, an Oregon State signee, rounded out that foursome at 2 under.
Two more players are tied for seventh at 1 under. Mikey Slesinski and Blake Hathcoat are teammates at St. Mary’s. Overall, there are 10 St. Mary’s players in the field.
In the senior division, Rick James is on top by three shots. It was an up-and-down day for the San Jose native. He interspersed four birdies with four bogeys.
Daniel O’Connor had a 3-over 75 while Jeff Britton, senior winner at last week’s San Diego Amateur, and Bruce MacLean are tied for third at 4 over.
In the women’s division, Santa Clara University sophomore Emily Sumner took steps toward a title defense with an opening 6-over 78 that left her with a two-shot lead.
ABOUT THE AGC Silicon Valley Amateur
The Silicon Valley Amateur is the first
tournament to have, on its past winner's list, a
champion. That would be Collin Morikawa, who won
2016 title. Just over 4 years later, he won the PGA
Championship just up the road at TPC Harding Park
2021 marked the announcement of Baylands Golf
Links as the tournament's new host venue. And wow,
did players enjoy it. It's
location in Palo Alto is fitting -- as the original garage
where Hewlett Packard was founded is located there,
and today's biggest tech companies dot the area
like the Canadian Geese on the fairways and
near Baylands in the winter. Like
Corica Park in Alameda, Baylands was recently
completely redesigned as a new course from the dirt
up, under the hand of architect Forrest Richardson,
the results are stunning.
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