Caris Kim said she will prepare for Monday’s state girls golf championships in Pebble Beach the same way she did for last week’s regional: “Practice, practice, practice.”
That strategy served her well at the Northern California championships Nov. 4 at El Macero Country Club, where the Los Altos High senior qualified for state. Kim seized one of the six individual berths with her 11th-place finish (out of 89 golfers).
“I shot a really good score,” Kim said of her 2-over-par 74. “I made a lot of crucial up and downs to keep my round going.”
Kim’s short game went a long way in getting her to state.
“I was not sharp with every aspect of my game,” she said, “but my putting came in handy when I needed to make putts.”
No more so than on the par-5 18th hole. Kim said she overcame “a bad break on my drive” by chipping out of the fairway bunker and tapping in a 1-foot putt to save par.
“I guessed that I was near the cut line (for state) and had to par that hole,” she said, “and I was lucky that I did.”
Kim shot even par on 12 holes at El Macero, located just outside Davis. Her round also included two birdies and four bogeys.
“I hit the ball very solidly,” she said. “I didn’t have any major blow-up holes – no double or triple bogeys.”
Kim hopes to keep it that way for state, taking place at Poppy Hills Golf Course.
“I am so excited to play there again,” the Los Altos resident said. “It’s a really pretty course.”
Kim last played Poppy Hills in the summer of 2018 at the U.S. Girls’ Junior.
“I did well,” she said. “I was more nervous than anything.”
Kim added that course management will be key on the challenging course.
“I can’t get aggressive,” she said. “I have to focus on consistency and keep it steady.”
Other locals at NorCal
The two other local players at NorCal – seniors Megan Chou of Pinewood School and Reeya Vasishta of Mountain View High – placed 35th and 40th, respectively. Chou shot a 78 and Vasishta recorded a 79.
Mountain View coach Jim McGuirk said Vasishta “did a great job representing our team,” adding that he “couldn’t be more proud of how great Reeya did.”