KIM WINS ROLEX GIRLS JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP IN DRAMATIC FASHION
Korda makes final-round charge to force playoff
RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. — Playing in her final AJGA event, Kimberly Kim of Pahoa, Hawaii, proudly stands as the 2009 Rolex Girls Junior Champion by carding a 2-over-par 218 at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club. Jessica Korda of Bradenton, Fla. made a final-round charge, shooting 3-under-par 69 to force a playoff but fell short on the first playoff hole.
Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the Rolex Girls Junior Championship was a 54-hole stroke play event held at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club. The tournament field featured 78 of the best junior girl golfers in the nation, ages 12-18, from 15 states, Colombia, Mexico and Canada. The par-72 course played at 6,207 yards.
Kim, a five-time Rolex Junior All-American, maintained her steady play all week to take home the victory. Winning her first AJGA tournament since the 2007 Thunderbird International Junior, she was happy to have the weight lifted off her shoulders.
“I haven’t won in a long time,” Kim said. “It always feels good to get a win after being in a drought.”
Korda rallied on the back nine, recording four birdies to come home at 4-under-par 32 and post a three-day total 2-over-par 218 to take the clubhouse lead. Coming down the stretch Kim recorded a birdie on No. 17 to take the lead with one hole left to play. She stared at a three-foot putt on the 54th hole for the win but burned the edge to extend the tournament and head to a playoff.
In the playoff Korda reached the 513 yard par-5 18th hole in regulation while Kim just missed leaving her on the fringe with a 65-foot putt up and over a ridge.
“I just wanted to get it close,” Kim said. “I actually guessed on the line but it ended up good.”
She made a fantastic putt, leaving her two feet under the hole for par. After Korda missed her par putt Kim knocked the two-footer in the back of the cup for the win.
Tiffany Lua of Rowland Heights, Calif., and Hana Lee of Hacienda Heights, Calif., finished in a tie for third with a three-day total of 4-over-par 220. Finishing in a tie for fifth place was Doris Chen of Bradenton, Fla., and Tiffany Lim of San Jose, Calif., at 5-over-par 221.
Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. Along with sponsoring the Rolex Girls Junior Championship, Rolex is also the title partner of the Rolex Tournament of Champions and the proprietors of the Rolex Junior All-America Teams.
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The AJGA, the largest Association of its kind, has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of approximately 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 25 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA's National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association's success since 1989. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA's second Premier Partner.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 160 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 300 wins. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
For more information on the Rolex Girls Junior Golf Championship, contact AJGA National Headquarters at (770) 868-4200.