CHICAGO – Doug Ghim’s good run of summer success in amateur golf continues as he racked up his first big amateur “victory” Thursday.
Ghim shot rounds of 69-63-73-65 to win medalist honors at the 112th Western Amateur Championship at The Beverly Country Club on Chicago’s south side.
After 54 holes, he trailed leader Bryson Dechambeau, a rising junior at SMU, by two shots.
“I was a little irked about the first round,” Ghim said. “It just wasn’t a good mindset to go through.”
It was on the first hole of the second 18 on Thursday where a two-shot swing occurred and Ghim and Dechambeau were tied.
Ghim knew it was time to make a move at that point, and he did. The 18-year-old went 7 under through 14 holes, but was slowed down a bit when he doubled the par-4 15th.
Ghim, of Arlington Heights, Ill., knew he had the lead, but how many still remained in question. It was a one-shot lead over New Zealand’s Josh Munn.
He put to rest any possibilities of a medalist playoff with a laser 4-iron from 240 yards on the 18th – a “Long Way Home.” He sealed his two-shot victory with a two-putt birdie putt from 20 feet above the cup.
“Looking at the names on the trophy – it’s pretty cool. It’s definitely a bonus, but the tournament isn’t over. The first half is just done. Now its time to get ready for tomorrow.”
Hunter Stewart, a rising senior at Vanderbilt, shot a final-round 5-under 66 to advance to the Round of 16. He started the final round in a tie for 21st but played his way in thanks to a bogey-free round.
“It’s a great feeling. I knew going into today that if I played a couple of solid rounds, nothing special, come out here and play well, that I can make it,” Stewart said.
Stewart said he wanted to make a run at medalist honors, but his putter got cold on his finishing four holes.
The last spot in the Round of 16 was determine by a three-for-one playoff between Nicolas Echavarria of Fayetteville, Ark., Adam Schenk of Vincennes, Ind., and Matt Hansen of Los Osos, Calif. It was Hansen who birdied the second playoff hole (No. 16) to advance to Friday’s Round of 16.