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Swing revamp could bring more success for Kim

By Andrew Frackowski

LPGA player Christina Kim will tee off for her 14th season as a professional this year.

But the 32 year old is well aware that age is no barrier in this sport.

Kim recalls of a certain victory in 2014 at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational which confirmed her best could be yet to come.

"It was my first win in nine years, and after having gone through a struggle with depression a couple years before that, it was the most fulfilling win I have ever had," Kim said.

"My win at the 2014 Lorena Ochoa Invitational tops all my victories.

"It taught me that I don't have to be 19 years old to reach the peak in my career and reminded me how much golf I still have left to play."

Kim's results in 2016 suggest she is reaching her best yet again with three top ten finishes over four events in a 35 day period.

This included a second at the LPGA Volvik Championship which took a final round five under par 67 from world number two Ariya Jutanugarn, to defeat her.

She followed this up with a fourth position (-13) at the 54 hole Shoprite Classic carding a 69, 66 and 65 and two events later scored a tie for sixth at the Cambia Portland Classic with two rounds of six under par.

Kim has always had a strong putting game and never been afraid to try different strokes which she says can sometimes be a 'blessing and a curse' but a major change to her swing was sole reason behind her three top ten finishes last season and these results suggest her fourth career victory is not far away.

"I've revamped my entire golf swing, including my pre shot routine," Kim said.

"It's all about confident strikes of the club, knowing the strengths of my game, and keeping a calm mind.

"My goals for 2017 include getting my fourth win on the LPGA Tour and I'm working on improving every aspect of my game, even if it's a little.

"I love the game and am so fortunate to be able to travel the globe playing a game I love."

Kim was once the youngest player to have reached $1million in prizemoney and her total now sits well over the $5million mark.

Her love for the game was brought about from her father, Man and mother Meok, as she was fortunate enough to grow up close to Pebble Beach in California.

"My father (Man) introduced me to the game when I was just shy of twelve, his passion and love for the game seeped into me," she said.

"He's the greatest influence I have had in my career. Without his and my mother's (Meok) sacrifices, I wouldn't be here to play professionally.

With Kim's late start to golf, she jokes that her number one sport was in the playground before trying tennis around age four then softball and volleyball during middle school.

"My number one sport before playing golf was chasing boys in the playground as a small kid," Kim laughs.

"There was a failed attempt at tennis when I was four years old, and I played softball and volleyball in my middle school, but there's no question golf was my best sport."

The Florida local has a lot of close friends on the LPGA Tour inclduing Jane Park, Marina Alex and Tiffany Joh but she also has a good friendship with Australian youngster Su Oh.

"I've gotten really close to Su Oh from Melbourne in the last couple of years.

"She's such a sweet girl and has a ton of talent. It's very exciting to see the youth of Australian golf make it on the LPGA tour."

Outside of Golf Kim is a Baseball and American Football fan supporting the San Francisco Giants and Green Bay Packers respectively, but she is also a keen follower of the New Zealand Rugby Union team, the All Blacks.

"I'm a huge fan of baseball. It's a relatively new love of a few years, but I am a huge San Francisco Giants fan," Kim said.

"I also enjoy watching the Green Bay Packers (American football) since I have visited the team's stadium and have met Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback of the team.

"And with my kiwi boyfriend, this obviously means I am an All Blacks and Black Caps fan. Sorry Australia!

The World Ranked 91 also reveals her passion to create a wonderful dish for people in her life.

"I love to cook," she said.

"I obviously love good food, but more than that, to be able to create wonderful meals for the people that matter to me in my life is something that brings me great joy."

Kim also enjoyed her visit to Adelaide last year stating that the people in Adelaide are very kind and that she is excited to return again.

"I'm super excited to revisit Adelaide for so many reasons. Obviously Royal Adelaide is a world class golf course and Golf Australia and ISPS treat us wonderfully," Kim said.

"The people in Adelaide are all so kind and love having a good time.

"I've been looking forward to revisiting the Fringe Festival and experiencing the great culture and the food!