Kim falls in final of U.S. Women's Public Links
Advertiser Staff and News Services
Hilo native Kimberly Kim's summer of golf got off to hot start, but then she ran into Jennifer Song.
Song, of La Canada, Calif., defeated Kim, 7 and 6, yesterday in the match play final of U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship at Red Tail Golf Club in Devens, Mass.
It was the largest margin of victory in the 33-year history of the championship.
"Today I was super hot," said Song, who was 9 under for the 30 holes, never missed a fairway (23 of 23) and hit 25 of 30 greens in regulation. "I can't believe I made a bunch of birdies, and some of the putts were really hard. They just dropped in and I'm so grateful."
Said Kim: "I really tried hard to focus on my game, because she was having such a hot day."
Song, a 19-year-old sophomore at Southern California, pulled away late in the morning 18 holes en route to a 5-up lead at the break. She won the 23rd hole, the par-3 No 5 with a birdie but Kim, 17, won the par-4 No. 6 with a birdie to cut the lead back to 5.
Song won the next two holes, both par-4s, with birdies, to boost her lead to 7 up. They halved the next four holes, sealing the victory for Song.
Song did not trail in the match, after winning the first hole with a 5-foot birdie. She won the par-4 No. 13 with a birdie to go 2 up, and built a 5-up lead with consecutive wins on the 16th (par) and 17th (birdie), both par-4s, and the par-5 18th (par). She finished with 10 birdies.
"I was telling my caddie's dad that she was playing robotic," Kim said.
It has been a good start to the summer for Kim, who now lives in Arizona. Last week, she won the Rolex Junior Girls Championship and was the medalist at her sectional qualifying site for the U.S. Women's Open. This was her first championship final in three years after losing in the 2006 WAPL final.
"To myself, I'm just playing," said Kim, "but maybe in others' opinions, I'm coming back."
Information from the United States Golf Association was used in this report.