Summer 2017

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As the three-time Women's Golf Coaches Association All-American and 2016 Pac-12 Conference Women's Scholar Athlete of the Year works to achieve that end goal, the 22 year old isn't straying far from her NorCal roots. She's sponsored by Pleasanton-based software giant Workday—and between events she stays at her family home. When back at her base, Kim continues to fine-tune her game at Stanford Golf Course's cele- brated practice facility, which is just 15 minutes away. "The convenience is great," Kim says of practicing at her alma mater. "And the facility itself, it's pretty incredible where you can practice every shot. The beauty of it just keeps me coming back." So far, she's passing the test. Despite a missed cut at the LPGA's LOTTE Championship in April, her "mid-term" report card shows that Kim has cashed checks in nine of 11 SymetraTour events, including a T-6 finish at the IOA Cham- pionship in late March. Having cherished playing for team and amateur glory, Kim is adjusting to the pro ranks, where they play for pay and every birdie and bogey can determine her future. "It's a different mindset," she says. "But I've always played my best when I play for fun. So I'm trying to not get bogged down with, 'I have to play for money,' or stuff like that, which could distract from being in the moment." Competing on the LPGA's feeder tour has found Kim swinging against a host of familiar faces, including former Stanford teammate Mariah Stackhouse. "We have a very close friendship, but at the same time we're competing against each other every week," says Kim, noting that she and Stackhouse enjoyed a friendly rivalry during college. Of transitioning to her new lifestyle, which she describes as "basically living out of a suitcase," the detail-oriented Kim is adjusting week-to-week, and admits it's been tougher than she expected. Laugh- ing about her experiences with a broken suitcase handle or a busted golf bag finds Kim, an ardent list-maker, learning that the road doesn't always recognize one's checklist. "I've always been the type of person who wants to know where I'm going to be the next week and what to expect," she says. "But with this lifestyle, you can't really expect anything." As Kim strives for full LPGA status, she continues to rely on her Northern California footing. She still frequents Palo Alto Hills Golf and Country Club, where she's been a member for over a decade ("That's basically our family's second home," she jokes), and has never strayed from the tutelage of Roy Day, instructor at Shoreline Golf Links in Mountain View. Reflecting on her early successes, Kim credits the golf foundings of her NCGA upbringing. "The junior golf in Northern Califor- nia, the NCGA especially, is very strong and competitive. The quality of player that the NCGA attracts, it's one of the top junior organizations in California, and also in the country," she concludes. "Most of the players I competed against as juniors went on to play college golf, and a couple of us have turned professional now. So as a junior you get used to com- peting at that high-level, to playing differ- ent courses and to the nerves." 34 SUMMER 2017 | NCGA.ORG USGA

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