For the first time as a professional, Gina Kim is a winner.
Thanks to rounds of 66, 69 and 73, the former Blue Devil captured her first victory Sunday in the Inova Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship on the Epson Tour, which serves as the developmental circuit for the LPGA. Kim, at -11 (208), finished two shots ahead of Caroline Inglis and former NCAA individual champion Maria Fassi.
During her Blue Devil career, Kim was part of the 2019 national-title-winning lineup as a freshman and was the ACC individual medalist as a junior. A two-time WGCA All-American, Kim was indispensable as a clutch performer for head coach Dan Brooks and finished her collegiate career with eight top-10 finishes in 24 events.
"I’m excited for Gina," Brooks told The Chronicle. "To get a win in her first season as a professional is very impressive. She’s always worked hard to live out her dream as a professional. She’s earned her successes and her dedication will bring her many more."
Kim now sits sixth on the Epson Tour money list at $38,526, giving her an inside track at retaining her LPGA card for 2023—at season’s end in October, the top 10 golfers on the Epson money list receive status for next season.
The Chapel Hill, N.C., native has bounced between the Epson Tour and LPGA, as she sits 152nd in the Race to the CME Globe standings (the LPGA points ranking), and cannot gain entry into every LPGA event.
Going into the week at Howey-In-The-Hills, Fla., Kim’s first eight starts as a pro yielded a top-10 earlier this month, three other made cuts and four missed cuts. Her victory, though, might be the jolt that gets her rookie campaign going.
Kim turned pro back in January, foregoing her senior spring at Duke and making the immediate jump to the professional circuit.
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Max Rego is a Trinity junior and sports managing editor for The Chronicle's 117th volume.