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Aussie golfers Vilips and Kim off to Buenos Aires 2018

23 August 2018

BUENOS AIRES 2018: The Aussie YOG squad has grown to 88 athletes across 25 sports, with golf prodigies Karl Vilips and Grace Kim recently announced on the Team.

Between them, the pair boast more championships than we can name, both nationally and internationally. Vilips has had four tournament wins over the past two years, the most recent at the 2018 AJGA's Wyndham Championship, where he shot 62 to equal the course record.

The three-time Rolex Junior All-American is the joint youngest winner of the Southern Amateur Championship, a title he shares with one of America's most influential amateur golfers, Bobby Jones.

Looking up to his dad as a doting kid, Vilips picked up a golf club for the first time as a 4-year-old to join his father on the green. Born in Jakarta, Indonesia before moving to Australia, the now 17-year old attends Saddlebrook Preparatory, an elite golf and tennis acadamy, in Tampa, Florida.

The Western Australian golfer has recently been offered a scholarship to Stanford University in the States, and will commence study at the prestigious college in 2020 where he will train and compete against some of the best up and coming golfers in the world. 

Karl Vilips

Just as impressively, Kim, who is ranked number one in Australia in the amateur girl’s division, is also ranked number one for amateur women in Australia, making her a dual-title holder for both junior and senior categories. 

She has recently won at the 2017 Australian Girl’s Amateur Championship and the 2018 Patsy Hankins Trophy. 

But Kim’s success didn’t come easily and she speakes of a time where she almost gave up on the sport completely. 

“All my achievements have been special but my very first win at the 2017 Victorian Junior Championship is a tournament that I am very proud of,” Kim said. 

“In December 2016, a month before this tournament I came back from another tournament where I had finished poorly. 

“I cried to my parents and told them golf was something I couldn’t do.  

“That year was full of second place finishes which caused me to feel frustrated and deteriorate in my mentality,” she said. 

“My parents told me that bad things happen for good reason and that coming second continuously just meant I was still playing well consistently, but just falling that little bit short, so if I continued to practice the way I did, victories would come.  

“Soon after, the victories did come and from then on, I became more consistent than I'd ever imagined, gaining a couple of wins along the way.” 

Kim started playing golf as a 10-year old and says that her biggest inspiration is her family. 

“Seeing them sacrifice so much, being supportive and dedicating themselves for me to achieve what I have, really influences me to drive forward to make them proud,” the Greenacre, NSW local said. 

“My family really motivate me to bring out the best in myself and in return, I want to be able to give back much more than they’ve given me.” 

The Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games will run 6-18 October 2018. You can learn more about your selected YOG athletes HERE.

Liana Buratti


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