Masters player blog: Doug Ghim (Wednesday)

Getty Images

Masters player blog: Doug Ghim (Wednesday)

Amateur

Masters player blog: Doug Ghim (Wednesday)

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 third entry:

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Thursday morning at 11:37 a.m. Eastern, I will tee off in my first Masters Tournament. Let me start by saying that it’s a dream come true to be here. To sit here and tell you that I expected to be here at the age that I am, I can’t confidently say that I did. It’s a very emotional week for me – I could’ve been here a couple of years ago when I nearly won the U.S. Amateur Public Links – and to be here with my parents, Jeff and Susan, driving down Magnolia Lane, it’s stuff you dream about.

On Wednesday morning, I got out to the course early and played nine holes with Si Woo Kim and Dylan Frittelli, a former Texas golfer who I played with on Tuesday. We played the front nine and it was the first time I had played it in the morning all week. It was also the first time I’ve played it with a crowd, so that was cool to see.

After lunch, my parents changed into their caddie suits and we headed to the Par 3 Course at Augusta National for the annual Par 3 Contest. I played with Webb Simpson and Patton Kizzire. It was cool to play behind kind of the Big 3 of my generation – Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – and in front of the original Big 3, obviously missing Mr. Arnold Palmer. It was so amazing to see Mr. Gary Player, Mr. Jack Nicklaus and Mr. Tom Watson playing behind me. (And Mr. Watson won the contest, too.)

I hit a cool shot into No. 2 to about a foot, which was a nice way to settle in. I hit it solid, I just couldn’t make any putts out there, but it was still a fun day. It was awesome to have my parents out there. My mom mentioned to me that it was the happiest day of her life. Hearing that, that nothing would ever be like this because this is my first Masters, it made me feel pretty happy that I was able to do that for her.

My dad was super nervous about hitting a tee shot on No. 9, and he was trying to warm up on the range. He kept asking me what club I thought he should hit. I kept telling him I didn’t know. But I ended up recommending pitching wedge. Well, he went with a 9-iron and he made good contact, but he just pulled it long and into the crowd. I was scared to death for those people over there when the ball was coming down.

As for my mom, she has never really hit a gold shot before, and that’s OK. I told her to do her best and she was a little nervous, but I think she did a good job. She hit two putts and then I tapped in for the 4. It’s all good fun and I was glad to have my family out. What a moment I’ll never forget.

Back to tomorrow’s first round. I will be playing alongside Si Woo Kim and Sandy Lyle, a past champion. I’m just excited to finally compete. That’s what I’m here to do and what I love to do most. I don’t know how I’m going to play and I don’t know how I’m going to feel when I get to that first tee – I’m sure I’m going to be nervous as hell – and that’s OK.

Nick Price told me during the amateur dinner that all the greats have had one first round in this Masters Tournament in their lives, and he guaranteed me that each one of them was nervous. Just hearing that from one of the greats is a great feeling.

I’m going to embrace it all as much as I can. Obviously it’s easier said than done, but I’m just going to enjoy the day tomorrow, give it my all and see how it goes.

Wish me luck!

– Doug

Latest

More Golfweek
Home