Grace Kim Taking Positives From Saturday, Looking Forward to Aussie Sunday Showdown

Grace Kim Taking Positives From Saturday, Looking Forward to Aussie Sunday Showdown

By Jill Painter Lopez 


LOS ANGELES - Grace Kim wrote down some positive affirmations in her yardage book Saturday to keep herself grounded since she had a four-shot lead after 36 holes in the JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro


“It was very cliche, but I guess I’ve said a lot of things on the golf course. I’ve said it’s just me and the golf course,” Kim said of her third-round messages to herself. “Like don’t worry about the whole field because it’s tough for everyone. I tried to stay in the present of just the next shot, giving myself good chances. I know I had a few three-putts in there, but just keeping my head in the game and not losing that shot focus. Yeah, that’s one. And I said good things take time.”


Kim didn’t have the round she wanted, but she turned in a gritty 5-over 76 and came back to the field. Still, Kim is in a two-way tie for the lead (a lead she never lost) at 7-under and will play in the final group with fellow Australian and friend Hannah Green. 


The leaders, who teed off late in the day Saturday, dealt with hard and fast greens. It was a testament of one’s will at Wilshire Country Club. 


“The wind did pick up,” Kim said. “It was a bit gusty out there, so mentally I knew it was going to be tough and I’d seen some high scores already. I just tried to stay in the present. I backed away a few times because the wind died or gusted up, so the club selection was crucial.


“I just think the poana greens in the afternoon got very bumpy and was probably the worst today. That’s kind of a given. As you can see, it’s tough for everyone today. It was just one of those days. It’s just golf.” 


Green won the tournament last year and is going for back-to-back wins. Green and Kim will tee it up together once again, just as they did earlier this week in a practice round. Only this pairing will be much more meaningful as it’s the final pairing Sunday in the final round. 


“It’s always really nice to be paired with an Aussie,” Kim said. “I think we’re pretty quick players, so hopefully we’ll get the round done quickly. Yeah, again, obviously friends before competitors, so whoever gets the trophy, we’re very supportive.” 


When Green won the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in 2019, Kim was there as a guest of Karrie Webb. They were all part of Green’s celebration. Imagine the fun for a young Kim to see Green get her first victory. The mutual respect has long been there, and if one of them were to win Sunday, that would surely continue. 


It’s not just the Australian duo vying for the tournament title. There are 14 players within four shots of the lead, making it a crowded leaderboard. It will be an exciting Sunday to be sure. 


Kim shot 64-66 in the first two rounds to build that lead before the 76 Saturday, so there’s more good affirmations that can go in her yardage book from Thursday and Friday.


“I think knowing I can go that low is always a good reminder I can win the thing,” Kim said.

April 27, 2024
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