Two All-State selections, two top-five individual finishes and two top-five team finishes in the Girls Golf State Finals made for a scintillating high school career for Danbi Kim.
The senior finished her career at Columbus North by finishing fifth in this year’s state tournament, leading the Bull Dogs to a fourth-place team finish. She is The Republic Girls Golfer of the Year.
“I was hoping to do a little bit better (at state),” Kim said. “It wasn’t my best, but I’m still really happy with what I shot. Getting fifth, I’m not really mad about that at all. I thought it was a great season, one of my best, and I’m also glad because it was my senior year, and it was a great way to end it.”
Last year, Kim tied for fifth at state to help North to a third-place team finish. She then had a big offseason that included winning medalist honors in the Girls State Junior Championship in June.
Story continues below gallery
Kim also tied for 11th in the American Junior Golf Association Otter Creek Junior Championship in July. She then parlayed her success into a strong start to the high school season.
“She started off the season on a tear,” North coach Scott Seavers said. “To keep up that level of golf is almost impossible, but she had a really good year.”
Kim said playing in harder tournaments over the summer led to her being more confident in her game. She fired a school-record 32 against Batesville at Hillcrest and had a 4-under par 33 to lead the Bull Dogs to a school-record 143 team score in a win against Seymour at Shadowood.
At the end of the season, Kim tied for second in the Conference Indiana Tournament at Timbergate and third in the Greensburg Sectional at Greensburg Country Club and the Lapel Regional at The Edge Golf Club in Anderson.
“I did start off the season better than I finished it, but I think toward the end, it was kind of nerve-racking for me,” Kim said. “I got a little bit too nervous, but I couldn’t be happier with how I started and ended the season.”
At state, Kim shot rounds of 76 and 74 at Prairie View Golf Club in Carmel. Her 150 total for 36 holes was the same as her junior year.
“Two years in a row to get top five in the state, that’s pretty impressive,” Seavers said. “She worked hard for that. She earned that. Her competitors and her teammates definitely knew she was one of the best players in the state. She had a chance to do something special, and she did. I’m proud of her, and we’re going to miss her a lot.”
Before the season began, Kim committed to continue her golf career at Findlay (Ohio). She liked the small size of the school, so she won’t get overwhelmed, and was impressed with the friendliness of the coach and players.
Kim plans to major in pharmacy.
“I’m just hoping that I’ll be able to balance golf and academics really well since pharmacy is a science major, and that can take up a lot of your time,” Kim said. “So I’m hoping that I don’t fall behind on golf or academics and have one better than the other. I just want them to be pretty equal.”
Kim doesn’t plan to play in any more tournaments until next summer. But she still is practicing at Otter Creek, where her family has a membership.
Looking back, Kim is happy with her career at North.
“Starting from my freshman year, I’ve had the most fun I could have had playing on the high school team,” Kim said. “My teammates were so nice, and the way I played was decent most of the time. So my whole high school career was probably one of the best four years of my life.”
The Republic All-Area Girls Golf team:
Danbi Kim, Columbus North: The senior averaged 36.9 per nine holes and finished fifth in the state finals.
Nathaly Munnicha, Columbus North: The freshman averaged 39.1 per nine holes and was the sectional medalist.
Alex Munnicha, Columbus North: The junior averaged 39.3 per nine holes and tied for 20th in the state finals.
Julia Luken, Columbus North: The senior averaged 40.7 per nine holes and finished second in Conference Indiana and the sectional.
Molly Donnell, Columbus North: The senior averaged 42.0 per nine holes.
Annie Anderson, Columbus North: The sophomore averaged 42.9 per nine holes.
Lily Shelp, Columbus East: The senior averaged 44.0 per nine holes and finished second in the HHC.
Brown County: Ashley Masteller. Columbus East: Autumn Fateley, Morgan Harrison. Edinburgh: Vanessa McManaway. Jennings County: Allie Clark, Peyton Whitehead. South Decatur: Shelby Vannatta.