A sizzling summer of golf continued for Danbi Kim on Thursday.
Kim, who won the Girls State Junior Championship last month, put together three solid days in the American Junior Golf Association Otter Creek Junior Championship this week. Her 54-hole total of 229 allowed her to finish in a tie for 11th place in the girls division.
“This is far better than I thought I could do because the last two years, I haven’t played very well,” said Kim, who missed the cut the past two years. “I’m really happy with how it went down this year.”
Kim, who will be a senior at Columbus North, saved her best round of the week for last. She carded a 2-over-par 74 to follow rounds of 77 and 78 the first two days.
Starting on the back nine Thursday, Kim double-bogeyed her first hole and shot 40 on that West Nine at Otter Creek. But she came back with a 2-under 34 on the North Nine.
“I actually made birdies, and I saved pars a lot better than I did (Wednesday),” Kim said. “My drives and my irons were definitely improved today.”
Meanwhile, recent North graduate Spencer Fairbanks finished with a final-round 76. The Butler-bound Fairbanks shot 70 and 77 the first two days and tied for 35th in the boys division at 223.
Fairbanks started on the back nine Thursday and went out in 41. He recovered for a 1-under 35 on the back nine.
“It’s worse than I was hoping, but I’m fine with it,” Fairbanks said. “I was hitting my driver solid. I just wasn’t chipping or putting well today.”
Charlie Toman of Chardon, Ohio, put up a 68 for the second consecutive day to win the boys title. The Valparaiso recruit, who will be a senior at West Geauga High School, had a 70 in the opening round and finished with a 206.
Toman had to hold off a hard-charging Joey Ranieri of Zionsville, who fired a final-round 65 to finish three shots back at 209.
“It was very nice conditions,” Toman said. “It was rough at the start. I hit one in the water on the first hole, but I saved the par there, and the back nine, I just lit it up and made a lot of birdies.”
Grace Ni of Cypress, Texas, led from wire-to-wire to win the girls tournament. Ni, who will be a junior at Cy-Fair High School, went 70-70-69 for a 209 to win by eight shots over Alexis Miestowski of Schererville.
The victory was Ni’s fourth on the AJGA Tour.
“I think it’s always everyone’s goal to win when they come to the tournament,” Ni said. “But I try not to think too much about the results and take it one shot at a time.”
Two other Columbus residents played in the tournament but did not make the cut to the final round.
Drew Smith, who will be a junior at North shot 79 and 74 Tuesday and Wednesday and missed the boys cut by two shots. Nathaly Munnicha, who will be a freshman at North, went 79-88 in her two rounds.
Final leaders for the AJGA Otter Creek Junior Championship:
Grant Engle;Springfield, Ohio;68-74-70—212
Robbie Keyes, Louisville;68-75-69—212
Brian Isztwan;Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania;72-68-72—212
Grace Ni;Cypress, Texas;70-70-69—209
Brianne Bolden;Mokena, Illinois;79-69-70—218
Lauren Beaudreau;Lamont, Illinois;72-72-74—218
Catherine Caudill;Clarksville, Tennessee;75-75-72—222