LORTON, Va. – Junior Michael Kim won a pair of matches Thursday to move on to the quarterfinals at the 2013 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship being played at the par-72, 7,022-yard Laurel Hill Golf Club. Kim was a 2 up winner over Lucas Kim in his Round of 32 match and then came up with a 3 & 2 victory over Mitchell Rutledge in the Round of 16.
Kim will tee off against Robby Shelton in a quarterfinal match Friday at 7:30 a.m. ET/4:30 a.m. PT. The Kim-Shelton winner will move on to a semifinal match Friday afternoon at 12:15 p.m. PT/9:15 a.m. PT to play the winner of a quarterfinal between Eric Sugimoto and Kyle Henning. The semifinal winners Friday will play for the title Saturday in a 36-hole championship match scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. ET/4 a.m. PT.
Kim did not lead in his Round of 32 victory until he came back from a one-hole deficit after 13 holes by winning back-to-back holes when his opponent double bogeyed the par-three 14th and he made his own birdie on the par-five 15th. The two players halved the next two holes before Kim clinched his victory with a birdie on the par-five 18th. Kim never trailed by more than a single hole on four different occasions in the match as his opponent took single hole advantages after his birdie on the par-four first, Kim’s bogey on the par-four third, his birdie on the par-four seventh and Kim’s bogey on the par-three 11th. Kim equaled the score by winning the par-four second on his opponent’s bogey, the par-four fifth with a birdie and the par-five ninth with another birdie before doing it for the final time on his opponent’s double bogey on 14.
Kim took his first lead against Rutledge with a birdie on the par-three fourth and would never trail in the match. The match returned to all-square after Kim bogeyed the fifth before he took the lead for good with a birdie on the par-four sixth. Kim would put up another birdie on the seventh to go 2 up before Rutledge would get back to within a single hole when Kim bogeyed the par-three eighth. But Kim took control with birdies on the par-four 10th and 12th to go 3 up. Rutledge got one hole back when Kim made triple bogey on the par-four 13th but Kim retrieved it with a birdie on the 15th and Rutledge ran out of holes when the two halved 16.
Kim (69-68 – 137, -3) qualified for match play by finishing the stroke play portion of the tournament played Monday and Tuesday tied for fifth, with the low 64 scores from the 156 golfers in the initial field moving on to match play. He then was an 8 & 6 winner over Brandon Hortt in a Round of 64 match Wednesday.
Kim, who reached the Round of 16 at the 2012 event, qualified for the 2013 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship by being ranked among the top 75 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking as of the closing date for entries on May 22 and was one of 11 players fully exempt from qualifying.