Michael Kim turns pro after earning college player of year honors at Cal
Courtesy of Cal Athletics
Michael Kim, the 2012-2013 college player of the year, has turned pro and will surrender his last two years of eligibility at the University of California. Kim, who grew up in the San Diego area, is expected to make his pro debut at the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in late January after accepting a sponsor's exemption.
Kim, currently fourth in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, was Cal's first national player of the year in men's golf last season, when he swept the Haskins Award, Golfstat Cup, Golfweek/Sagarin Player of the Year and Nicklaus Award as his Golden Bear squad won 12 of their 14 stroke-play tournaments to set a modern-era NCAA single-season record.
''I can't thank Cal enough for what it has done for me,'' Kim said. ''It was a really tough decision but I feel like I'm ready to take the next step in my career and turn professional.''
Kim also was the Pac-12 Men's Golfer of the Year as a sophomore, and earned first-team Ping Division I All-American and All-West Region honors in 2012-13. In addition, he was the individual medalist a single-season school-record four times last season, and tied for second on two other occasions among his seven top-5 and team-high 10 top-10 finishes.
Kim qualified for the 2013 U.S. Open, and finished as low amateur by tying for 17th place after rising as high as tied for third during the third round. He made the cut in the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic, reached the finals of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and was on the winning United States teams in both the 2013 Palmer Cup and Walker Cup.
''We knew this was a possibility as last year unfolded,'' Cal Head Coach Steve Desimone told The San Francisco Chronicle. ''At some point, Michael was going to make this move. We wish him all the best – he was a great Golden Bear and always will be.''
Kim, 20, tied for 56th at the Web.com Tour Q-School finals last week, giving him only partial status on that circuit.