Canada Games

B.C.'s Kim and Wong capture gold in golf at Canada Games

The Canadian Press
8/28/2009 5:51:59 PM
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ROSENEATH, P.E.I. -- Sue Kim and Eugene Wong lingered on the course well after the medal ceremonies wrapped up Friday, posing for pictures draped in a big B.C. flag.

Kim, from Langley, B.C., and Wong, from North Vancouver, B.C., stamped their names in the Canada Games history book Friday, winning gold in golf in the sport's Games debut.

"I feel awesome about myself, to go down in history as the first gold medallist in the Canada Summer Games was an accomplishment I wanted to have, and I did it," Wong said.

Wong started the day six shots back but charged up the leaderboard shooting a 2-under 70 on his final round -- including a 60-foot putt for an eagle on No. 17 -- for a four-round 288, forcing a playoff with teammate Justin Shin. Shin, from Maple Ridge, B.C., took the silver after a playoff that also lasted three holes. Julien Goulet of St-Roch de l'Achigan, Que., finished at 292 to win the bronze.

"The first gold in the Canada Summer Games, my name is in the history books forever, you can't erase it," said Wong, the 2008 world junior champion.

Kim, from Langley, B.C., shot a 7-over-par 79 Friday in blustery conditions at Brudenell River Golf Course for a four-round total of 293. Augusta James of Bath, Ont., finished in a four-way tie for second at 303 taking the silver medal in playoff that took three holes to decide. SooBin Kim of Coquitlam, B.C., won the bronze.

"It's history, right?" Sue Kim said. "It was definitely an honour to be part of history to win both golds, as a team and individual."

B.C. dominated the golf at the Games, winning both the men's and women's team events a day earlier.

While Kim and Wong, both 18, were thrilled to capture golf's first golds, they would love to add another accomplishment to their names: Olympian. The sport was recommended earlier this month for inclusion in the 2016 Summer Games, along with rugby. The two sports will be put forward for ratification by the full 106-member IOC assembly in Copenhagen in October.

"I'll be the right age," Kim said. "Of course it motivates me more, I'll be done college by that time, a stronger player mentally and physically, I'll be a lot better by that time. I'm really excited for the Olympics."

Kim said the chance to play in the Olympic spotlight can only help a boost the image of game where she feels attention is sadly lacking on the women's side.

"Not many people follow ladies golf," she said. "Plus, it's hard to call it a sport because people think we just walk around and play with a stick, people think it's a retirement sport, but it's a tough game, it's a mental game.

"Justin Timberlake said it was the hardest game he ever played. And I love him," she added with a laugh.

Kim, who'll play the Canadian Women's Open next week in Calgary before heading to Denver University for her freshman year, took an eight-stroke lead into Friday's final round. Battling the changing winds all day long, she shot her worst round of the week, with six bogeys and a double bogey on No. 10.

"My ball went into the tree, the tree ate my ball, it didn't come down," she said. "It was a bit rough, it was windier, was a bit more frustrating, you can see that from my result. I'm happy with it overall, but it was a terrible round, I was scrambling all the way."

Wong's day was the reverse. He started the day six shots back but Shin eagled the first hole, dropping Wong to eight back. Wong had three birdies before the big eagle on 17, and then the two B.C. golfers duked it out through three playoff holes -- all held on No. 18. Shin finally missed on a short putt that rimmed the cup giving Wong the win.

"It was kind of weird because we were rooming together," Wong said of beating his teammate. "I felt bad in some ways, but I guess golf is a game, you have to beat someone."

Wong will now head back to the University of Oregon for his sophomore year.

The addition of golf in P.E.I. seemed fitting in a province that likes to boast about being Canada's top golf destination, and where courses seem as plentiful as potato fields. Brudenell is the course where Canadian women's star Lorie Kane learned the game when her dad Jack was the club's golf pro.

Triathlon was the other sport to make its Games debut here, and was also dominated by B.C., which swept the individual and team gold medals.

Sue Kim (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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