Among the hundreds nationally who tried to qualify for the U.S. Women's Amateur at Nassau Country Club, August Kim was possibly the most motivated. For her, getting into the tournament also meant having dinner at her favorite Korean restaurants in Flushing and going for pizza at Gino's in New Hyde Park.
Kim's entry form says she is from St. Augustine, Florida, but at least part of her heart says she always will be from Searingtown. The 19-year-old moved with her family during her junior year at Herricks High School and hadn't been back until this week.
"I pass my old neighborhood on the way to the course every day," she said after shooting 3-over-par 73 in the first round Monday, leaving herself tied for 38th and in good position to qualify for the match play.
"It's been kind of crazy. I'm trying to focus a bit on golf while I'm here and see friends afterward -- kind of like a reward thing," she said.
She was a golf prodigy on Long Island, winning the Met PGA Junior title, and the thought of playing year-round when her dad got a business opportunity in Florida was fine with her.
Her mother and younger sister Auston are here with her, and the latter was medalist in qualifying Sunday for this week's American Junior Golf Association tournament at Stonebridge Golf Links in Smithtown. For all of them, it is a pleasant drive down Memory Lane.
"I actually grew up on Bethpage -- that's my favorite course in the whole world," Kim said outside the Nassau clubhouse. "And this is like a cousin to Bethpage."
Granddaughters do well Jennifer and Kristin Coleman, twins from California and granddaughters of longtime Nassau Country Club members Dan and Helen Coleman, shot 4-over and 5-over, respectively, are tied for 50th and 66th and are in contention to make the 64-player cut.