Masters player blog: Doug Ghim (Tuesday)

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Masters player blog: Doug Ghim (Tuesday)

Amateur

Masters player blog: Doug Ghim (Tuesday)

Texas senior Doug Ghim, the 2017 U.S. Amateur runner-up, will blog about his first Masters experience on Golfweek.com this week. Here is his second entry:

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Every Monday evening of Masters week is the Amateur Dinner. This year there are six amateurs competing this year, including me, and last night’s dinner was awesome. We had steak, a lobster salad – probably the most elaborate salad that I’ve ever had – and a sweet dessert that was nice. The experience was great.

During the dinner I had the opportunity to meet some important people in golf, people that I’ve always looked up to. Matthew Fitzpatrick was there to speak as someone who has experienced the Amateur Dinner and is now playing in his third Masters as a top-50 player in the world. It was pretty wild. I got to have dinner with Mr. Buzzy Johnson, the senior director of the Masters Tournament, Mr. Jeff Knox, Mr. Mike Davis, Mr. Jimmy Dunne and Mr. Grey Murray.

They were a lot of fun; a lot of fun banter at the table, too. It was really cool to hear the stuff that they were talking about, including the U.S. Open and what it’s going to be like at Shinnecock, to stories of the different amateurs that were in the field and the dinners of the past. They had a tribute to Bobby Jones and gave us a gift of a book of the life of Mr. Jones. It just makes you appreciate what he’s done for the game and just the opportunity to be here; without him amateur golf wouldn’t be as strong as it is today. I’m super thankful for the evening that we all had.

I also stayed in the Crow’s Nest after the dinner. Everyone but Doc Redman and Yuxin Lin was there, so Harry Ellis, Joaquin Niemann and Matt Parziale joined me atop the clubhouse for a memorable night. We had good laughs and we were talking about how small the rooms were – only dividers separate the beds and the showers are nice and cozy – and it’s quite cold up there actually throughout the night, but it was fun. It was just a blast to be there and know all the people who were in there and have stayed there at one point.

There are pictures everywhere of the greats who played as amateurs, pictures of Mr. Ben Crenshaw, Mr. Jack Nicklaus, Mr. Arnold Palmer, and obviously Mr. Jones, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Mark O’Meara – all the greats; it’s so inspiring. This year’s amateur class is so talented, too, and I have a feeling that there is a good chance that a lot of us will be back here and there will be a picture of one of us up there on day.

Today I played a practice round with Dylan Frittelli and Webb Simpson. Dylan is a former Texas Longhorn and holed the winning putt at the 2012 NCAA Championship. I’ve been able to talk with him throughout the years and he’s given me a lot of advice, so it was cool to be out here in the same arena as him. He’s also playing in his first Masters, so he’s figuring out how to play the course, too.

And Webb, I met him at the Match Play and had dinner with him, and he gave me his number and said that we should play a practice round together at Augusta. We’re actually playing Wednesday’s Par 3 Contest together, as well.

Speaking of the Par 3 Contest, my parents, Jeff and Susan, will caddie for me in it. My dad has been practicing the same shot for about three months. It’s about 135 yards off the tee at No. 9, over water. He’s been between an 8- and 9-iron, and now today he’s saying maybe he should hit 7-iron so he can make sure he gets it over the water. And then I’ll have my mom hit the putt. That will be an experience I’ll never forget.

Can’t wait for another day at Augusta National. Hook ’em!

– Doug

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