Grace Kim pumps a tee shot during her 16-game round in Wisconsin. Photo: USGA
Grace Kim, although no longer a candidate for the American girl crown for amateurs, remains one for the most polite person in golf robe.
So when she couldn't find the words to find her 21-hole loss to American Brooke Seay in the round of 16 today, you knew something had happened at SentryWorld in Wisconsin.
Not that she had any aversion toward her Californian opponent, but it was the feeling that something had happened that she hadn't been able to wrap her head in.
Kim, the bustling Sydneysider, had rattled a quality performance earlier in her 32-game round after following Chun-Wei Wu two holes before defeating the Taiwanese youth for a victory of 3 and 2.
And she must have thought that a good day was about to turn into a great day, when Seay, Kim followed with 1 down, was just approaching the side of the 18th green and still 12 meters from the cup.
But the incoming freshman Stanford, perhaps inspired by a piece of brilliant caddying by her brother, quietly drilled the putt to extend the competition.
"I just imagined a line," Seay said, carrying her younger brother Spencer.
“I didn't think about distance at all. The only thing I thought about was making. Spencer told me he would give me a puppy if I got it.
“That was just a little unrelated, but it got me a bit loose. I was a bit surprised that it went into it. "
Caddy Spencer Seay jumps in delight while his sister Brooke Seay removes the match-squaring putt from the pony of the 18th green. Photo: USGA
Maybe not as surprised as Kim, the Avondale member who had just played 18 holes four under and without a bogeyman in an extreme quality game.
"To be honest, I thought I had it," Kim said.
“But Brooke played great golf – her wedge game and putting were unreal, we both played so well and there was only one hole that was won that was not won by a birdie (the short par-fourth fourth hole on which Seay made the match only bogey).
"She made that putt and I thought," Are you kidding me? ", We have to go down 19.
“I don't really regret anything, because I played very well all day, but that was my chance because on the 19th I had a six-foot right-to-left slider for birdie, but I broke it (by the break) and we had to continue again.
"We made the 20th, then she hit a nice tee-shot in the (par-three) third (the 21st) and I really had to make mine about 10 feet but left it short and low.
"She made hers (from about 1.5 m) and that was it.
"I can't be upset, it was just one of those things. She was really good."
To her credit, the young American, who remarkably played the tournament for the sixth time, was full of praise for Kim.
& # 39; Frankly, Grace played great. That was probably the most difficult game I have ever played, "Seay said.
"We both just fired on all cylinders and actually made no mistakes."
Kim, already a representative of the New South Wales state team at the age of 18, remained optimistic about her great performance.
"I'm not disappointed, maybe a little frustrated," she thought.
"I have a lot of experience, it's just my second time in American tournaments, so (as long as) it's not as far as I wanted to go … I'm happy with the way I played."