There have been good days in her career. Indeed, there have been great days, but today will surely rank as one of the greatest in Grace Kim’s golfing life.
Kim was simply sublime taking out her first Australian Amateur, sealing the Championship with a stunning four under 68 on her way to victory by seven shots.
Trailing by two when the day began, the Avondale star was out of the blocks early, birdieing the second to put immediate pressure on the overnight leader, Western Australia’s Kirsten Rudgeley.
The younger Rudgeley, no doubt feeling the pressure, stumbled with a bogey on the next. She compounded it with a double-bogey on the 4th, and suddenly Kim led by two, a lead which she wouldn’t surrender for the remainder of the day.
A second birdie on the ninth for an outward total of two under 35 was a sign of things to come, and Kim turned the back nine into a putting masterclass as she streaked away from her challengers, carding five more birdies and just a solitary bogey through 17 holes.
The margin of the win could’ve been more but with the thought of tying the course record in the back of her mind, a three-putt on the last cruelled what would’ve been a fitting end to one of Kim’s finest performances.
“Australian Austateur Champion has a nice ring to it for sure,” she beamed after the victory. “I wasted a couple on the last, but still had enough to win, so I’m happy.
” I really, really like this place, the fact I was able to win on this golf course means a lot.”
With a decision on whether to turn professional in the next year or looming, the freshly-minted champion said her performance today was of the calibre which she would need to make it in the pay-for-play ranks.
“I think I can take it into pro ranks,” she explained. “There’s a bit of tweaking to do, but I’m sort of ready to turn pro.”
In the men’s Queenslander Louis Dobbellaar has claimed his maiden Australian Amateur Crown, carding a two-under 70 to win by two shots from a fast-finishing Jeffrey Guan.
For 16-year-old Guan, the remarkable finish has earmarked him as one of the games brightest prospects.