LORTON, Va. – Junior Michael Kim continued his run at the 2013 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship on Friday by winning a pair of matches for the second consecutive day to earn a spot in Saturday’s 36-hole championship match at the par-72, 7,022-yard Laurel Hill Golf Club. Kim and Jordan Niebrugge will tee off in Saturday’s championship match at 7 a.m. ET/4 a.m. PT.
“It would mean a lot [to win],” Kim said. “I look around at the banners that are up [around the course] of previous winners – Trevor Immelman, Brandt Snedeker, Tim Clark. A lot of guys who have won this [championship] have gone on to have great careers in golf. To add my name to that list would be pretty special.”
Kim reached the finals by winning a total of five matches over the last three days after qualifying for match play by tying for fifth in the stroke play portion of the tournament Monday and Tuesday.
Kim came up with a 1 up quarterfinal victory over Robby Shelton IV and a 4 & 3 semifinal win against Eric Sugimoto on Friday.
Although Kim never trailed in the win over Shelton he would not wrap up the victory until both golfers birdied the par-five 18th hole. Kim led by two holes in the match twice when he birdied the par-four fifth and 13th holes. He also won the par-four ninth and par-three 16th holes to regain the lead after Shelton had tied the match by winning the previous two holes on both occasions.
Shelton birdied the par-four seventh and took advantage of a Kim bogey on the par-three eighth to tie the match for the first time. Kim then double bogeyed the par-three 14th and bogeyed the par-five 15th to allow Shelton to tie the match the second time before his birdie on 16 put him ahead to stay.
Kim trailed Sugimoto by one hole after the players halved the first five holes and Sugimoto birdied the par-four sixth to take his only lead of the match before Kim took control by winning the next three holes with birdies on the par-four seventh and ninth surrounding a bogey by Sugimoto on the eighth. The player halved the next four holes before Kim clinched the match by winning back-to-back holes when Sugimoto bogeyed the par-four 15th and he birdied the 16th.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.