One of the most impressive seasons you have heard little about this year belongs to Epson Tour sophomore Auston Kim. So far in her 2023 campaign, Kim has made 11 out of 12 cuts, which is already impressive, but add on, in the 11 cuts made, the 22-year-old has 7 top-10 finishes and has finished in the top-10 in her last four starts. The solid stretch of golf gets even more impressive when you dig a little deeper. Kim has had a round of 67 or better in her last five tournaments, with only two over-par rounds in that stretch, highlighting her consistent play with the ability to go low.
“It has been a pretty consistent season so far,” said Kim. “Not just with my play but mentally as well. I am taking the same approach into each week, with no expectations. It is a good feeling playing how I am right now. I can see my hard work paying off.”
Kim showed glimpses of her game last year during her rookie season, recording a top-10 in her first career start on the Epson Tour. However, after her first tournament, the reality of being a professional hit Kim, who would make only three more cuts to round out the season.
“My play this year has just come from experience,” said Kim. “Last year when I played, it was my first like half year as a pro, and it was a lot of learning the ropes. After playing for those first few months as a pro, I realized it is a grind each week, and you really have to be the best between your ears.”
The season Kim has put together currently has her at No. 8 in the Race for the Card, putting her right within reach of securing an LPGA Tour card for the first time in her young career.
“It is a good feeling, and it also shows that my process is working,” said Kim. “I need to keep my foot on the gas pedal and continue to do what is working for me. I need to learn from my mistakes. I have been in contention a lot and just a few small mistakes have held me back.”
Kim attributes a lot of her success to her family. Her mom or dad is on the bag each week for her, while her sister August cheers her on as she’s getting her doctorate. August played with Auston during her rookie season in 2022 but decided to finish up her degree in 2023. August has played on the Epson Tour since 2017 and has been a big help for Auston in her second year on tour.
“I am very fortunate to have my family with me,” explained Kim. “They just provide so much support and keep me calm when I need it most. August is very experienced, and she is always just a call or text away and just gives me so much support. Just having my mom and dad here with me each week is so helpful. I am sure years from now, and I will always remember this experience with them.”
Now, heading into the later part of the season, Kim is still confident in her game but knows she cannot get ahead of herself with so much golf yet to be played.
“I feel like I am managing my expectations for the rest of the year,” said Kim. “With all the things that are going well, it is very easy to suddenly think ‘oh I should be reaching this threshold’ but every single week, round, and shot I really just want to be realistic and understand I can’t be perfect. I feel like the reason I have been playing so well so far is I have just been really honest with myself, rather than expecting myself to be perfect every time I play.”