Aussie Kim eyes LPGA Tour with first pro victory

Grace Kim has taken out the IOA Golf Classic on the Epson Tour on Sunday at the Alaqua Country Club in Longwood, Florida.

Kim is a step closer to securing her LPGA Tour card after winning her maiden event as a professional which the 21 year-old did in style, closing with a 7-under-par 64 to secure a five-shot victory.

Grace Kim Grace Kim (Credit: Epson Tour)

The win on the secondary Epson Tour propelled Kim from 75th to 7th in the 2022 Race for the Card with the top-10 at the end of the year earning 2023 LPGA Tour playing rights. The victory also pocketed Kim a tidy US$30,000 in prize money.

“I did not expect a win this early in my Epson Tour career,” said Kim, who will tee it up at next month’s US Women’s Open after making it through recent qualifying.

“To have an Epson Tour event as my first professional win is quite special, and to have dad on the bag takes it over the top.”

Kim sealed her first professional win by going 3-under par over the final three holes, which included an eagle on the par-5 16th.

Hyo Joon Jang signed for a bogey-free 64 to finish in a tie for second with another Aussie, Sarah Jane Smith who carded a closing round of 68. Robyn Choi closed with a 67 and made it three Australians in the top-5, as she finished in a tie for fourth with 18-hole leader Katelyn Sisk at 12-under overall.

Kim had a stellar amateur career, winning the 2021 Australian Amateur and NSW Amateur, the 2020 NSW Amateur and the 2017 Australian Junior Amateur.