Auston Kim needed nothing short of something spectacular at the Epson Tour Championship. Entering the week ranked 15th in the Race for the Card after dropping down two spots following the Tuscaloosa Toyota Classic, it was going to take a monumental effort from the Epson Tour sophomore if she wanted even the slightest chance to earn her LPGA Tour card.
And boy did she deliver.
After opening her week in Daytona Beach, Fla., with a ho-hum 71, Kim found an extra gear, blitzing the Jones Course at LPGA International over the next three rounds. She posted an 8-under 64 in round two and then backed that up with a pair of 65s over the weekend, a performance that helped her capture her first Epson Tour victory and move to third in the Race for the Card, securing LPGA Tour status for the 2024 season.
It was a dream come true for Kim, who had only turned professional in May of 2022 and who had finally broken through after recording nine top-10 finishes throughout the season. And the moment was made even more special as Kim had her mom, Piljo, on the bag, walking alongside her daughter every step of the way en route to victory.
“The win is something else, but I'm really ecstatic about all the hard work that I've put in, mentally, physically, all the conditioning, all the upkeep, all the weeks that I've just been grinding out here and working my hardest. It's really a testament to what we've been doing all summer,” Kim said after the victory. “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.