Doug Ghim is starting to feel a bit of senioritis.
You know, the anxious feeling high school seniors get when they look toward the future. It’s the same for Ghim, who is slated to join the Texas Longhorns in the fall.
“I’m counting down the minutes,” Ghim said, with a laugh. “I’ll be on Instagram seeing pictures of the courses that they get to play and the stuff they get being on the team. Being on the team with a bunch of other really talented kids would be really cool. I can’t tell you how excited I am. I want to get out there now.”
But Ghim, the No. 6 golfer in the Golfweek/Sagain Junior Rankings, still has a busy final year of golf ahead of him and he started it off the right way with a win at the CB&I Boys Championship on Feb. 17.
“It was kind of surprising,” Ghim said. “Coming out of the winter, I didn’t get to play much. … I struggled at the beginning, but, when I got on the golf course, I was hitting the ball so well. Everything was going basically where I wanted it to.
“I hit so many greens and gave myself at least 10 makable birdie putts each day. If you give yourself that many opportunities, you’re going to make a couple.”
After putting himself in position at several big junior tournaments last year (Ghim posted top 10s at the Junior Players Championship, Junior PGA Championship and AJGA Rolex Tournament of Champions), Ghim finally took home a title.
“It was surreal,” Ghim said. “I didn’t realize I had won until I got to the 18th tee. It was beyond what I can explain. I got a monkey off my back. I knew I could do it, it was just a matter of actually doing it.”
Ghim went bogey-free through 53 holes at the par-72, 7,311-yard Championship Course at the Club at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas, and finished the tournament wearing his Texas gear. His 12-under 204 broke a tournament scoring record set by former Longhorn Jordan Spieth in 2011.
“Jokingly, before the tournament started, I told my dad that (breaking Spieth’s record) was the goal,” Ghim said. “I don’t know if I meant that, but I was playing so well after the second round. I told him (on Twitter) I was going for the record and I was tied for the lead (after two rounds).
“To beat Jordan’s record, out of all people, was really cool. To have that check marked off the list tells me I’m going down the right path. He’s one of my heroes and idols.”
With his final year in high school winding down, Ghim understands his days as a junior golfer are as well.
“This season is kind of like a learning curve. I’m trying to graduate from junior golf by slowly making the transition, but also throwing myself into the deep end of the pool,” Ghim said. “I’m playing the Sunnehanna Amateur this year and I’m trying to play the U.S. Amateur and Public Links and the Western (Amateur). I want to get a taste of amateur golf and slowly get out of junior golf.”
Ghim is part of a talented graduating class that is preparing for the next step, including Scott Scheffler, Austen Truslow, Benjamin Griffin and George Cunningham. All of those guys will meet up again at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley Golf Club in April.
“We go to the first tee at every tournament knowing those guys are out there,” Ghim said. “We’re all really good friends and we like each other a lot and hang out after the round. We do want to beat each other. But, most of all, we want to play our best, and beat each other playing our best. “