Ghim sits fourth entering final round at Torrey Pines
January 26, 2019
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Doug Ghim sticks tee shot to set up birdie at Farmers
SAN DIEGO – Doug Ghim thought he almost killed the reigning FedExCup champion in Monday’s pro-am. Turns out it was a case of mistaken identity by a player who has been a pro for less than a year.
The Farmers Insurance Open is Ghim’s 10th start on TOUR. He’ll start the final round in fourth place, five shots behind leader Justin Rose.
High winds blew one of Ghim’s tee shots well right of the fairway on Monday, toward a group that included someone who Ghim mistook for Rose.
“I was like, ‘Oh man, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to like almost kill you,’” Ghim recalled Saturday afternoon. “I might have just got rid of the best competition out there.”
When told the story in Saturday’s post-round press conference, Rose said that he wasn’t at Torrey Pines that day.
“Must have been a look-alike,” Rose said.
Ghim turned pro in June after a decorated amateur career. He is competing this week on a sponsor exemption. He was runner-up in the 2017 U.S. Amateur and low amateur at last year’s Masters. He also won last year’s Ben Hogan Award, given to the top player in college and amateur golf.
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He doesn’t fit the mold of the young players who are taking a direct route from the college game to the PGA TOUR. His game is predicated on accuracy, not overwhelming distance. Ghim, who stands 5-foot-9 and weighs 165 pounds, is 45th in driving distance this week (289 yards) but ranks in the top 10 in both greens hit and driving accuracy.
“I like hard golf courses,” he said. “When it penalizes other guys to miss the fairway, it puts me in a good spot to make a move on the leaderboard. … Obviously when you’re crooked and you’re only hitting it 270, then that’s not good.”
Ghim’s best pro finish is a T8 at the European Masters and also had top-25 finishes at the Barracuda Championship (T23) and Wyndham Championship (T20). He finished third at the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament in December to give him status on that circuit, as well.
He was T45 in the season-opening Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay but missed the second event of the season to compete at Torrey Pines. A top-10 this week would get him into next week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.
“This week, I’ve been adamant about having a good attitude,” he said. “My first tournament on the Web.com Tour, in the Bahamas, I hit it the best I have in a while, but at Q-School I didn’t hit it well but I had a great attitude, which is probably why I did so well.”
Ghim started this week with a 9-under par 63 on Torrey Pines’ North Course. His third-round 67 on the South Course was six shots better than the previous day. He gained 4.4 strokes on the greens Saturday after holing 3 of his 5 attempts from 10-15 feet and both of his putts from 15-20 feet.
He didn’t have to make long putts for either of his final two birdies, though. He hit a 5-iron to 5 feet on the 16th hole before wedging to 3 feet on the last hole.
“It’s my first time in this big of a tournament to have a chance (to win), albeit pretty far back,” Ghim said. “I don’t foresee Justin coming back to the field much at all, so for me to have a chance tomorrow, I have to do something really special.”
Doug Ghim birdies No. 13 at Farmers