Scott Kim of Darlington has an affinity for the Valley Brook Golf Course in River Vale.
During his high school career at nearby River Dell High School, Kim won the Bergen County Scholastic championship there with a 72.
On Wednesday, June 30, Kim fired an even-par and career-best 70 at the 6,220-yard venue to earn medalist honors by two shots over Kevin Guidera of Galloping Hill and Drew McMahon of Mercer Oaks.
A total of nine players shot 74 or better to qualify for the 12th NJSGA Men’s Public Links Championship on Wednesday, July 20 at Mercer Oaks West Course.
Kim, who lives in River Edge, is a rising senior at Siena College in New York and earned All-Conference honors in leading Siena to the Middle Atlantic Athletic Conference championship and a berth in the NCAA Regionals. Siena was sent to the West Regional alongside Oregon, which went on and won the NCAA title.
Earlier this month he played in the NJSGA Amateur at Montammy, but failed to make the cut.
“This is my first time in the Public Links. The last two summers I was in Lake Mary, Fla., with my swing coach, Mike Bender, who works with PGA pros like Zach Johnson and Lee Janzen. He really helped me. Now, I’m a lot more consistent with my ball striking. I average nine fairways and 12 greens. Today, I hit 15 greens, but I had 34 putts,” Kim said.
Kim’s round included two birdies and two bogeys. He had a par save on the par-4 11thhole when his flop shot ended three feet from the hole.
Next week, Kim will try his hand at qualifiers for the Met Am at Raritan Valley and Met Public Links at Spook Rock. He will also try for the U.S. Amateur at a qualifier July 18.
“I’ve heard Mercer Oaks is a much wider course and I hope to add some distance and make more putts when I play there,” Kim said.