The University of Michgian’s Jun Min “Lion” Kim is headed for the Masters. The Senior is there by virtue of his win at the US Public Links Championship last summer—one of six amateur invites.
His given name, he explained, is tough for pronunciation. Also, his last name among Koreans and in golf is akin to being a Smith or Johnson among Americans. Among the Masters invitees are Lion, Anthony Kim and Kyung-Tae Kim.
“So my parents called me ‘Lion’ because it stands out, and Lion Kim sounds like Lion King,” he said. “It’s unique, like Tiger, yeah that, too, and people remember it.”
Lion has embarked on a week of golf to remember.
Augusta National is dedicated to the game, including the amateur side of it. Co-founder Bobby Jones was the game’s most accomplished amateur. The amateur invitees are celebrated with a dinner, and they are invited to stay in the famous “Crows Nest,” a historical living space at the top of the clubhouse.
“Honestly, it is every college player’s dream to play in the Masters,” Kim said. “You grow up spending time on the putting green in a putting match with buddies, and you imagine this is the putt to win the Masters.
“It’s every little kid’s dream to win the Masters. Mine is no different.”