OGDEN, Utah - Northern Arizona golfer Stephanie Kim was named the Big Sky Conference Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, the conference office announced Monday.
“Stephanie Kim is a stud,” said Head Coach Brad Bedortha. “For her to come in as a freshman and play this well has been pretty amazing. She has got better as the spring has progressed.”
Kim, who played at Phoenix Desert Vista High School, finished the 2009-10 regular season with a Golfstat ranking of 228, more than good enough to earn her the two individual awards and a spot on the All-Conference first team.
“I am very honored,” said Kim. “I did not expect it at all. It is very surprising and feels really good. It is a great confidence booster and hopefully I can finish strong at the conference championships.”
The league announced the individual award winners and All-Conference team on Monday. Ratings provided by Golfstat were used to determine the awards and All-Conference team.
Kim posted a scoring average of 75.96 in 10 tournaments this season. She captured medalist honors at the Grand Canyon Fall Invitational and the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic last week in Chandler, Ariz. Kim shot a single-round school record 68 in the first round of the Cowgirl Classic and tied the school 54-hole record with an even-par 216. Kim also earned top-five finishes at the Cal Poly Fall Invitational and the Northern Arizona Red Rocks tournament this spring.
Kim is the first golfer in league history to win Freshman of the Year and the Player of the Year honor in the same season. She is believed to be the first female in any sport to accomplish the feat. Eastern Washington men’s basketball player Rodney Stuckey, now a star with the Detroit Pistons, won both honors in 2005-06. Kim is the third student-athlete in school history to be named Freshman of the Year and is the sixth player in school history to claim Player of the Year honors.
Kim helped Northern Arizona to four tournament titles. The Lumberjacks enter next week’s Big Sky Championship as the favorite to repeat. The Big Sky Championship is April 19-21 at the Ocotillo Golf Resort in Chandler, Ariz.
Sacramento State sophomore Julie Shutler, Northern Arizona junior Alexa Kim (No relation to Stephanie), Portland State freshman Britney Yada and Montana sophomore Lauren Howell also earned first team All-Conference honors.
Shulter, from Manteca, Calif., finished with a Golf Stat ranking of 279. She averaged 76.35 strokes per round with three top-10 finishes.
Alexa Kim, from Chandler, Ariz., averaged 76.54 strokes per round and has a ranking of 303. She recorded five top-10 finishes. She was an All-Big Sky second team selection in 2009.
Four Northern Arizona players earned second-team honors: Seniors Megan Buck and Meghan Bremer and juniors Dakin Banta and Bethany Leclair. Montana junior Carissa Simmons rounded out the second team. Banta (2008) and Leclair (2009) were named to the second team for the second time, while Buck and Bremer earned their first all-conference selections.
The six players on the all-conference team is a Big Sky record with no previous school posting more than four golfers in a single season on the all-league team.
Player of the Year – Stephanie Kim, Northern Arizona
Freshman of the Year – Stephanie Kim, Northern Arizona
Stephanie Kim, Fr., Northern Arizona, Phoenix, Ariz., 228
Julie Shutler, So., Sacramento State, Manteca, Calif., 279
Alexa Kim, Jr., Northern Arizona, Chandler, Ariz., 303
Britney Yada, Fr., Portland State, Hilo, Hawai’i, 320
Lauren Howell, So., Montana, Spokane, Wash., 413
Megan Buck, Sr., Northern Arizona, Glendale, Ariz., 417
Dakin Banta, Jr., Northern Arizona, Yuma, Ariz., 461
Bethany Leclair, Jr., Northern Arizona, Scottsdale, Ariz., 531
Meghan Bremer, Sr., Northern Arizona, Scottsdale, Ariz., 531
Carissa Simmons, Jr., Montana, Boise, Idaho, 538
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
2010 Stephanie Kim, Northern Arizona
2009 Kelly Gillum, Montana State
2008 Sophia Choi, Northern Arizona
2007 Sophia Choi, Northern Arizona
2006 Sophia Choi, Northern Arizona
2005 Sarah Tiller, Portland State
2004 Lauren Gray, Northern Arizona
2003 Taya Battistella, Portland State
2002 Katie Jacobson, Montana
2001 Taya Battistella, Portland State
1999-00 Tenille Howe, Weber State
1998 Eleanor Pilgrim, Northern Arizona
1997 Louise Davis, Northern Arizona
1996 Eleanor Pilgrim, Northern Arizona
1995 Jen McGregor, Montana St.
1994 Candace Cordingly, Idaho St.
1993 Shawna Seiber, Boise State
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
2010 Stephanie Kim, Northern Arizona
2009 Justine Chen, Sacramento State
2008 Kristina Gargaro, E. Washington
2007 Natalie Weber, Weber State
2006 Ali Carter, No. Arizona
2005 Sophia Choi, No. Arizona