Kimberly Kim won’t return to Denver in fall

Kimberly Kim

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Kimberly Kim will not return to the Denver women’s golf team next year, Golfweek has learned.

Kim, who finished 27th at the NCAA Women’s Championship on May 21, where she played as an individual, had four top 10s in her first season as a Pioneer. She won the Sun Belt Conference Championship and was named the conference’s Freshman of the Year.

Kim said academics figured heavily into her decision to leave Denver.

“I was kind of thinking about it most of my last season,” Kim said. “Mainly it was academics, and I just didn’t feel like it was the right place for me. The team and the coaches and everything were great, but for my future-wise, I just didn’t see myself (at Denver).”

Kim will represent the United States in the Curtis Cup next week, and qualified May 31 for the U.S. Women’s Open. She also has the U.S. Women’s Amateur and the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links on her summer schedule. Her previous USGA accomplishments include the 2006 U.S. Women’s Amateur title – which made her the youngest winner in the history of the tournament at age 14 – and runner-up finishes at the U.S. Girls’ Junior and the U.S. Women’s Public Links in 2009.

Kim said she wants to focus on golf, but is unsure what she will do after the summer. She isn’t likely to transfer to another school.

“It was kind of hard to tell my team, but we kind of have a small team, and obviously I was going to have to tell my coaches,” Kim said.

Denver coach Sammie Chergo said she and assistant coach Lindsay Hulwick will continue to grow the Denver program in Kim’s absence.

“We have no regrets and feel like Kimberly grew as a person and a golfer here at DU, and we wish her well as she figures out her future,” Chergo said. “Coaches, players and support staff put a lot of time into her growth personally, athletically and academically.”

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