DALY CITY, Calif. - After dropping off 60 tickets at Will Call this week, Christina Kim knew she’d see a lot of familiar faces at Lake Merced. Her hometown, San Jose, Calif., is just 45 miles south of Daly City, and she invited a number of friends and family out to see her play this week. However, the face standing on the front tee holding a “Quiet” sign was one that’s seen her play a lot more golf than the rest of the faces in the crowd – her high school golf coach.
That’s the beauty of the LPGA’s return to the Bay Area the last two years for Kim, the opportunity to return to a place that she cherishes but isn’t able to get back to very often.
“It’s huge! I love that we’re back here in Northern California because there are so many great players that hail from this region,” she said. “But it’s something that there are certain parts of the country where we think we should have at least one event and the fact that Swinging Skirts hoisted their skirts and made the trip over here to bring a tournament back to Northern California is just huge, and it shows how much they love the LPGA but also what a great product the LPGA is. Hopefully there are other companies out there that take a look at that and are willing to follow suit.”
She says there’s a certain pride that comes with being from this region, and she’s seen it everywhere on the course this week.
“Yeah, and they’re all Giants fans!” Kim said with a laugh. “If you actually look, you’ll see so much SF out there. You won’t see that in LA. You won’t see that in New York. You won’t see that in Chicago. San Francisco fans are pretty incredible, but yeah they’re thrilled to be a part of this event, I know that. Because we haven’t been back to Northern California in so many years, I think they understand how important it is that we’re back.”
Few are bigger Giants fans than Kim. Everywhere she goes, she brings her Giants pride with her. She went to the Giants 6-2 win over the Dodgers on Tuesday night and sat two rows up from the dugout – albeit the wrong one.
“I was second row from unfortunately the Dodgers’ dugout,” she said. “We were right by the Dodgers’ dugout, which I’m not a fan. I absolutely hate them, but it was cool to see Don Mattingly and Puig and those guys. They were right there and they were so close that I could have thrown stuff at them.”
This is typically the only week each year that she gets to go to a game. Once the Giants’ season starts, she’s already traveling the world following a tour that spans 14 countries, and the Giants never seem to be in the same city. She’s got the MLB package on her phone and watches as many games as she can catch on the road.
One of the games that she didn’t watch live, though, might be the most surprising – the Giants’ Game Seven win in the World Series last year.
“We were in Korea and then China, and I watched Game Six, which the Giants lost in ridiculous fashion,” Kim said. “So I said I wasn’t going to watch Game Seven at all because I would rather them win and then I could always go back and look at stuff later. I didn’t want to be a jinx to them.”
As for her favorite Giant, well, that’s easy.
“Buster Posey, without a doubt! Kim said. “He’s perfection! That’s why! There’s a reason why he’s the face of the MLB. He has it all! But I love all the guys. I think Hunter Pence, I kind of see a little bit of him in me or myself in him because he seems to be the spirit of the team. I kind of feel like I have a connection because a lot of people tell me I have that same sort of spirit when I play on Solheim Cup teams.”