High School Sports

Chapel Hill’s Gina Kim wins the Rolex Girls Junior Championship of golf

From staff reports

Gina Kim of Chapel Hill won the 2016 AJGA Rolex Junior Championship by two strokes over runnerup Emilia Migliaccio of Cary. The four-roond tournament was held at the Country Club of Rochester (N.Y.) June 14-17.
Gina Kim of Chapel Hill won the 2016 AJGA Rolex Junior Championship by two strokes over runnerup Emilia Migliaccio of Cary. The four-roond tournament was held at the Country Club of Rochester (N.Y.) June 14-17.

Gina Kim can scratch another thing off her “to-do” list.

Kim, a junior at Chapel Hill High School, had said for years that one of her top goals was to win an American Juniors Golf Association tournament.

She did that Friday, in a big way.

Kim started the day one stroke off the lead and carded a final-round 2-over-par 72 at the Country Club of Rochester to finish with a two-stroke victory over Emilia Migliaccio of Cary. Kim ended up with an 8-over-par 288 total in the four-day tournament, played under what many termed difficult conditions.

“It means a lot to me and it has a special place in my heart,” Kim said. “It’s definitely an unforgettable moment that will stay with me for the rest of my career. Knowing that I have the mental toughness to get through it really helps me become a better player.”

The championshp came down to the final three holes with several golfers in contention. Kim birdied her final.

A three-time Rolex Junior All-American, Kim had at least two birdies in every round, including a birdie on her final hole. Her first birdie of the day came on the par-5 No. 10.

The second, third and fourth place finishers were all separated by one stroke.

Migliaccio claimed second with a tournament total of 10-over-par 290. Migliaccio entered the final round tied for eighth but charged into second place by carding a final-round 66, her lowest round of the week. She notched five birdies on the final day, with four coming on the back nine.

Micheala Williams of Athens, Alabama, finished third at 11-over-par 291. Jaravee Boonchant of Bradenton, Fla., came in fourth with a 12-over-par 292. Jennifer Chang of Cary came in fifth with a 14-over-par 294.

This was Kim’s third Rolex Girls Juniors tournament, as she finished tied for 28th last year and tied for 30th in 2014 at The Country Club of Rochester. The win was Kim’s first AJGA Invitational victory, and her first tournament win since the 2014 AJGA Junior at Cattail Creek.

“It means a lot to me and it has a special place in my heart,” Kim said. “It’s definitely an unforgettable moment that will stay with me for the rest of my career. Knowing that I have the mental toughness to get through it really helps me become a better player.”

Elizabeth Wang of San Marino, Cal., and Kelly Sim of Edgewater, N.J., earned sixth place honors at 15-over-par 295.

Jiyoon Jang of Rancho Mirage, Cal., took eighth at 16-over-par 296. Rounding out the top 10 were Addie Baggarly of Jonesborough, Tenn., Calista Reyes of San Diego, Cal., Lois Kaye Go of the Philippines, Binny Lee of Frisco, Texas and Sabrina Iqbal of San Jose, Cal. with scores of 18-over-par 298.

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