Grace Kim has arrived home literally ‘rolled’ in gold after claiming the International Women’s Golf Title at the 100th Korean National Games, and with it, a new career best round of 61.
Kim, Australia’s highest-ranked female amateur, walked away with the individual title with rounds of 67-65, and the aforementioned 61 final round to win by a staggering 19 shots.
Her 11-under-par 61 also included a front nine of just 28 on the Dream Park Country Club course at Incheon, near Seoul.
The National Games are Korea’s largest athletic competition, showcasing the talent of both national and international based athletes in a range of sports. Over 20,000 competitors took part this year.
Although the golf tournament didn’t carry much weight in terms of international ranking, Kim said it was a significant event domestically.
“Koreans treat it as big as the Olympics!"
“I went over and played as an International Athlete of Korean background.
“I had never played in Korea before, so I was keen to see what it was like,” the Avondale Golf Club tyro said. “It was different to back here.”
So too, were some of the tournament conditions of play. Spectators weren’t allowed to follow the players, and the Internationals played a separate tournament from the Korean National Selection. It made getting a gauge of how well she might have performed against the best locals a little tough.
“The leading girl in the (Korean) national section shot -22. We were completely separate from them.”
Still, Kim agreed the week was a great experience.
“It was still good to improve my short game, and a real confidence booster knowing I can handle the conditions in Korea.
“And shooting a new personal-best of 61,” Kim grinned.
It might not have been the hardest course, but it still felt good.”