Taylor Babcock and Kristina Merkle earn entry into Monday Qualifier
Portland, OR, Aug, 12, 2013 – SooBin Kim of the University of Washington won the Safeway Amateur Open on Monday in a playoff. Kim, who is entering her junior season this fall, shot a 3-under 68 to tie with Taylor Babcock. She won the playoff with a par on the second playoff hole. The win earns her a sponsor exemption to play with the best professionals on the LPGA tour at the Safeway Classic August 29 - September 1 at Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland, OR.
Kim was selected First Team All Pac-12 in 2013, the first Husky so honored since Paige MacKenzie, currently an LPGA professional, in 2008. Currently 14th on the GOLWEEK College Rankings, Kim was the top ranked college player entering last season. She played junior and high school golf in the Vancouver, BC area and has no prior LPGA experience.
"I'm really happy I came here to Portland all the way from Vancouver and played so well," Kim said after the trophy presentation. "I birdied 16 and 17 which helped me finish strong. I was sinking lots of putts today."
Babcock played collegiately at Barry University and is a Lakeridge High School (Lake Oswego, OR) graduate. Her second-place finish earned her one of two amateur spots in the Safeway Classic Monday Qualifier on August 26.
Joining Babcock in that qualifier will be 2010 Safeway Classic Amateur Open champion Kristina Merkle. Merkle played her college golf at Tulsa University and flew from her home state of Hawaii for this tournament. She tied Monica Vaughn of Reedsport, OR for third place with a score of 70. Because Vaughn begins her freshman year at Arizona State this month, she conceded the second spot in the Monday Qualifier to Merkle.
“Two players posting 68 shows that we had another great field of players today ,” said Tom Maletis, President of Tournament Golf Foundation. “It will be exciting to see how these three players compare to the best players in the world in a few weeks.”
This year’s Safeway Classic will be the 42nd edition. The tournament has raised over $17 million for local children’s charities in Oregon through the Safeway Foundation since 1972, including at least $1 million each of the past seven years.
For more information on the Safeway Classic and Tournament Golf Foundation, visit their website at www.safewayclassic.com