Ghim maintains level-headed perspective after long journey to PGA TOUR
September 11, 2019
By Zephyr Melton, PGATOUR.COM
- September 11, 2019
Doug Ghim comments after securing PGA TOUR card at Korn Ferry Tour Championship
After Round 3 of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance, Doug Ghim joined Golf Channel’s Chantel McCabe to discuss his dazzling 66 at vaunted Victoria National GC. The round moved him inside the projected number to earn a PGA TOUR card with just 18 holes remaining in the season, but the 23-year-old Ghim explained that he was at peace with the outcome no matter how it turned out.
That is, as long as he didn’t miss a final putt to fall short of his first TOUR card.
As fate would have it, Ghim’s season would come down to one final putt just 24 hours later. Six feet of turf baked out by the late-summer sun was all that stood between Ghim and fulfilling a dream that began 17 years prior.
The putt dropped and Ghim unleashed a powerful fist pump and roar.
“I’ve never felt nerves like that before,” Ghim said. “After all that I went through the whole season, to have a putt to make it is wild. And even wilder to have it actually go in.”
A good portion of Ghim’s golf career has been filled with close calls and agonizing defeats. He finished runner up in the U.S. Amateur Public Links in 2014, was a member of the University of Texas team that fell just shy of a National Championship in 2016, and lost in the final of the 2017 U.S. Amateur in heartbreaking fashion to Doc Redman. At Victoria National, heartbreak would have to wait.
The 2019 season was a year of adjustment for Ghim. Adjusting to life on the road and the ups and downs of professional golf are challenges that any young golfer face, but he’s also gone through adjusting to not having his father on the bag as his caddie anymore. As soon as the putt went in, Ghim thought of the man who made it all possible.
“My father was the first one that came to mind,” Ghim said. “It pained me that he couldn’t be there, but really excited to see him and celebrate with him.”
The week since the putt has been a whirlwind for Ghim. Between rookie orientation and media requests, Ghim has been fully exerted as he preps to kick off the 2019-20 season. Perhaps appropriate as he gears up for a season in the spotlight of the PGA TOUR.
“Based off the coverage and the amount of people who have asked to interview me, it’s almost like I won the tournament,” Ghim said. “I’m overwhelmed with how much support there has been for me. I’m really excited to take that momentum into this week and the rest of the fall.”
Now Ghim looks toward his first event as a member of the PGA TOUR, A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier. Competing in TOUR events isn’t uncharted territory for Ghim -- he’s played in 13 events over the past two years -- but competing as a member has a different allure.
Things could be much different for Ghim if he didn’t hole that putt at Victoria National. One bad break or errant shot is the difference between competing on the PGA TOUR or having a fall full of what-ifs and awaiting the next opportunity in the new year. The journey has been long for Ghim, but he keeps a level-headed perspective looking back.
“We’ve come a long way from that driving range in Illinois to The Greenbrier,” Ghim said. “And hopefully bigger things ahead. I couldn’t be more excited.”
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