Kim Swings into Contention in California

The senior standout sits in top five after the opening round of the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge

PALOS VERDES ESTATES, Calif. – Vanderbilt senior standout Auston Kim sits in the top five on the leaderboard after the opening round of the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge Sunday.

Kim, an ANNIKA Award candidate and confirmed Augusta National Women’s Amateur participant, carded 1-under-par on the challenging course at the Palos Verdes Golf Club. She’s in a six-way tie for fifth-place in the medalist competition, just three strokes off the lead set by Wake Forest’s Rachel Kuehn, who’s currently ranked 15th in the latest Golfstat poll.

Vanderbilt struggled for much of the day in its second appearance at the tournament, which drew 10 of the nation’s top 25 teams to Palos Verdes Golf Club. In the 16-team field, the Commodores finished the open round in 13th-place with 17-over par as a squad.

Kent State sits atop the team standings, holding a one-stroke advantage over No. 2 Oregon and No. 6 Virginia, who are both tied for second. No. 21 Duke and No. 12 Arizona State, both 2021 national quarterfinalists, round out the top five at fourth and fifth, respectively.

The par-71 course that is 6,017 yards in length certainly challenged the field of top college golfers. No team is under-par through 18-holes and the average score among the individual field is 75.08. Out of 84 individuals, Kim was one of 10 to finish the 18-holes under-par.

Among the top 50 is Sophomore Virginie Ding who is tied for 43rd after her 5-over-par round. Freshman Natasha Kiel (+6) is tied for 56th, while junior Celina Sattelkau and fifth-year senior Louise Yu are both tied for 65th at 7-over-par. Competing as an individual, junior Jayna Choi returns to the course tied for 72nd after the opening round.

The Dores will look to climb the leaderboard during Monday’s second round. Vandy tees off at noon CT Monday and live scoring can be found here.