DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Former Vanderbilt women’s golf student-athlete Auston Kim fired a 7-under-par 65 for the second day in a row Sunday, leading to a two-stroke victory at the Epson Tour Championship. With the result, Kim secured her card on the LPGA Tour for the 2024 season.
The St. Augustine, Florida, native, tied the event record after finishing with a 23-under-par 265 total over the last four days at the par-72, 6,117-yard LPGA International Jones Course while picking up her first victory since joining the tour in 2022.
After opening the championship with a 71, Kim vaulted into contention with a bogey-free 8-under-par 64 on Friday. She posted a 33 on the front nine, then carded five birdies—including on consecutive holes on Nos. 11 and 12 as well as Nos. 17-18— after making the turn. Kim birdied six of her first 10 holes in the third round, adding four straight beginning on the 13th to head into the final day of the competition at 16 under.
In the final round, she tied the nine-hole record at the tournament with a 29 before the turn that featured five birdies around a three on the par-five fifth hole beginning on No. 2.
Kim hit 63 of 72 greens in regulation for the week, averaging 28 putts per round.
She ended the 2023 season having made the cut at 17 of 21 events, recording nine other top-10 results.
“We talked all year about if we do the right things, if I create good habits, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” Kim said to Espon Tour Communications after sinking the final putt. “I knew I needed a big week this week. I knew that I was close, and just having her [mother] by my side and encouraging me and keeping me patient and just knowing that I could learn from last week’s disappointment and turn it into something really positive this week, she really helped with that.
“I can say that she was expecting me to win this year, and she was right.”
As a Commodore, Kim was a two-time All-American, twice selected All-SEC and made the league’s All-Freshman Team in 2019. She qualified for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur each of her last two years with the program, competed in the U.S. Women’s Open on three occasions and was invited to the 2021 Curtis Cup during her collegiate career as well.