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2011-04-13

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Lion Kim

James Weaver/Daily
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By Kevin Raftery, Daily Sports Writer
Published April 11, 2011

For most University students, spring marks a difficult time for juggling homework, preparing for exams and solidifying summer employment plans.

But for Michigan men's golf captain Lion Kim, this spring has meant balancing the additional workload of participating in last weekend's most esteemed PGA Tour stop — The Masters championships at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.

Kim, a senior majoring in general studies, qualified for the Masters by winning the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship last July. He finished his Masters debut at four over par and missed the cut by just three strokes.

Though he didn't make it past the second round, Kim beat nine former Masters champions, including his playing mates Davis Love III and José María Olazábal.

What spectators didn’t see, however, is that his talent and work ethic translates to the classroom.

“I think his work ethic is what really sets him apart from so many players that I’ve ever coached,” Michigan coach Andrew Sapp said. “He probably works as hard or harder than anybody I’ve ever been around, and that’s really what drives him.”

Preparing for the Masters — and missing a week and a half of school in the process — put Kim’s time management skills to the test.

But if there’s anybody who could tackle this challenge, it’s Kim.

“It’s been a busy time of the year with papers and midterms and everything,” he said in March, two weeks before the Masters. “It’s been tough, there’s no question. But I’m going to make sure that I divide up my practice and really use my time wisely.”

Kim, who will graduate in June with a bachelor's in general studies, hopes to eventually turn pro. Right now, however, he remains focused on school and receiving his degree.

Despite his achievements, Kim remains humble.

“It’s a great honor,” he said of being selected a student of the year. “I truly think that if it weren’t for my teammates who pushed me every day, I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in.”