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 sixth entry after shooting 2-over 74 Saturday and adding to his eagle total at Augusta National:
AUGUSTA, Ga. – Moving Day at the Masters felt a lot more normal. I’m not in contention, so it’s wasn’t as nerve-racking as it may have been for some of the leaders. It was raining pretty hard for a bit. You know, anywhere else you’d probably wouldn’t be really sure about playing in this weather. But I’m at Augusta National and it doesn’t matter what the weather is. There are so many people who want to be in this position, so to have a bad attitude about the weather is just so silly.
I was excited to meet Mr. Bernhard Langer, my playing competitor today. Walking down the first fairway, I gave my dad a smile and Mr. Langer saw me and he couldn’t help but smile, too. I’ve played with so many nice people this week, and they really didn’t need to be. But Mr. Langer may have been the nicest guy that I’ve played with all week. He’s a very classy individual. He really appreciates good golf and I could tell he appreciated my efforts as an amateur.
He even raked a bunker for me today. I went in that left bunker on 3 off the tee, and wedges out of a bunker are always difficult. I caught it a fraction thin and it was beaming over the green onto No. 4 tee. Mr. Langer came over and my dad had the rake and he goes, “No, no, you need to go help Doug. I will get that for you.’ He’s holding his putter and he walks in with the rake in his hand and start raking the bunker. My dad looked at me and said, ‘A two-time Masters champion is raking your footprints right now.’ That was the funny highlight of the day.
I finally birdied the seventh hole, so that was another highlight. For the first time this week I hit the fairway and made a really good putt. It was good to finally play the hole the way it’s meant to be played. But the biggest highlight was my third eagle of the tournament, and second one on the par-5 13th hole this week.
I was coming off three straight bogeys, and while I wouldn’t say I was heated, I was a little disappointed with the mistakes. I know that I don’t normally make those mistakes. I feel like the aura and the nerves of the Masters, I’m starting to handle them better and I felt like I had them under control today, so those mistakes were just on me. I hit a good tee shot on 13 and I told myself that I just want a chance at eagle. I definitely needed a birdie just to get things going back in the right direction. I hit a good 5-iron into the green. Jordan told me with the pin, you just want to hit that second shot to the middle of the green. I was fortunate enough to make solid contact and put it right where I was looking to leave myself an easy 25-foot eagle putt – uphill, right to left; every right-handed golfer’s dream. I hit it a little bit harder than I normally would and halfway I thought, ‘This looks pretty good.’ And it went in, dead center. I’ve been fortunate to hear that crowd on 13 twice.
Now I have six crystal highball glasses. Why stop there? The record for most eagles in the Masters is four. So I’ll see if I can make two more on Sunday and break it.
I’m feeling more comfortable every day. Today was probably the first time that I was sincerely disappointed coming off the golf course. 74 is never really that bad out here, but it’s not so much the score but some of the mistakes that I made that made it a little bit more disappointing for me. I hit a couple of bad tee shots, all pulls, on Nos. 3, 8 and 11. I’m a little bit disappointed that I’m not a little bit closer to the lead, but it was such a fun day regardless to be able to have two bonus days to walk here with my dad and my family.
I’m eager to make it to Butler Cabin later tomorrow. I was just told that I need to do a speech, so I need to think about what I need to say. That will be the biggest audience definitely that I’ve ever had to speak in front of in my whole life.
I’m very blessed to be here. I have a lot of people that care and support me, and a lot of people who made this happen. It will be kind of a sad day, too, just knowing such a great week is coming to a close, but I’m as motivated as ever to get back here. Really looking forward to what lies ahead.
Also, I’m very sorry that I had to miss our college tournament, the Western Intercollegiate, which started Saturday. It’s a six-count-five event, and I know it’s difficult to play one man down. I learned that in Eugene, Ore., during the 2016 NCAA Championship. That’s going to test our depth, but I know the guys are really looking forward to the opportunity to prove that they belong in the postseason lineup. My birthday is in a week, on April 16, so I’m excited to go back home and celebrate with my teammates.
See you Sunday!