Quail Lodge GC
August 26-30, 2013
CARMEL – Lauren Kim doesn’t shy away from tough situations on the golf course.
During her freshman year at Stanford, Kim had an up-and-down rate of 65%, fourth best in the nation.
Her team appropriately bestowed her with the Scrambler Award.
Harvard junior Tiffany Lim had Kim scrambling in the 36-hole final of the California Women’s Amateur Championship. Kim was 4-down with just six holes remaining at Quail Lodge in Carmel on Friday afternoon.
But a relentless Kim never gave in, winning four of the next five holes to even the match. Kim then appropriately clinched the CWAC title with an up-and-down on the 37th hole.
“The way Tiffany was playing, I felt like I was running out of holes,” said Kim, who is from Los Altos. “I kept my head in it, and tried to focus and hit good shots.”
Kim cozied up a delicate pitch shot to 5 feet on the par-5 first hole at Quail Lodge, and then buried the par putt to complete the stunning comeback. Kim played her final 10 holes in 2-under.
“I was just trying to commit to my line and commit to my shot,” Kim said.
It all started on the 31st hole, the par-4 13th. Trailing 4-down, Kim won No. 13 with a par, and then birdied Nos. 14 and 15 to climb to within 1-down. After the long par-4 16th was halved with pars, Kim drained a 20-foot birdie putt to make the match all square heading into the 36th hole.
San Jose’s Lim pushed her drive just a foot inside the hazard line along the right edge of the fairway of the par 4, but showed why she was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year by punching an impressive recovery shot to the front of the green. Lim had a 7-foot slider to win the match outright with a par, but it missed.
That opened the door for Kim to win on the first extra hole.
Kim has now won the CWAC Junior Girls (in 2009) and this tournament, as well as the 2012 NCGA Junior Championship at Spyglass.
“This win is up there,” Kim said. “This is a good win, and a long, long week. It just feels good to be done, and to feel like all my effort is going in the right direction.”
Kim was the No. 1 seed heading into match play after shooting 79-67 to edge Lim (the No. 2 seed) by one. Kim’s 67 was the lowest score of the week by four strokes.
Kim was 3-down after nine holes of her opening match against Reno’s Alexandra Phillip, but played the back nine in even par to survive 1-up. Kim also went to 21 holes against Walnut Creek’s Renata Young in Thursday’s semifinals.
Lim was 1-up through the opening 18 holes, buoyed by an eagle on the par-5 15th. She reached 4-up through 22 holes with a pair of birdies, and maintained a lead between 3-and 4-up until the 31st hole.