Women’s Golf: Irene Kim named Big Ten Freshman of the Year

Irene+Kim+follows+through+on+her+swing.+Kim+was+named+Big+Ten+Freshman+of+the+Year+on+Monday.

Daily file photo by Alison Albelda

Irene Kim follows through on her swing. Kim was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year on Monday.

Benjamin Rosenberg, Sports Editor


Women’s Golf


After a rookie campaign that included a first-place finish at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic, Irene Kim was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, the conference announced Monday.

The La Palma, Calif. native had a solid but not spectacular start to the season. She shot an even-par 72 in the final day of the Glass City Invitational in Toledo, Ohio to finish 31st, but tumbled to 38th at the Mason Rudolph Invitational in Franklin, Tenn. and 57th at the Windy City Classic.

But Kim closed out the fall strong, with two even-par rounds at the Stanford Intercollegiate for a 21st-place finish. She carried that momentum into the first tournament of the spring season in Puerto Rico from Feb. 9-11.

Kim made four birdies and an eagle in her last six holes to claim the title, helping Northwestern to a team victory as well. Her final round helped her beat out North Carolina State’s Monika Hartl by a single stroke.

She followed that up by finishing 17th out of 63 competitors at the Bruin Wave Invitational in California, then a disappointing 50th at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate in Hilton Head Island, S.C., the Wildcats’ last tournament before the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite being named the Big Ten’s top freshman, Kim was not named to the all-conference First Team. Her teammate, sophomore Kelly Sim, did make the First Team, while Kim and senior Brooke Riley earned spots on the Second Team.

On the men’s side, sophomore David Nyfjäll, the 2019 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, was named to the all-conference First Team, with junior Eric McIntosh making the Second Team.

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Twitter: @bxrosenberg

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