Doug Ghim makes most of sponsor's exemption with 63 at Farmers

Jan 24, 2019; San Diego, CA, USA; Doug Ghim (left) and caddie Micah Fugitt look on from the 18th hole during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Municipal Golf Course - North Co. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports

Doug Ghim makes most of sponsor's exemption with 63 at Farmers

PGA Tour

Doug Ghim makes most of sponsor's exemption with 63 at Farmers

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SAN DIEGO — Doug Ghim’s opening 63 on Thursday marked his first full round of golf at Torrey Pines. The only previous experience for the University of Texas standout came during a team spring break trip, but that South Course round was rained out after 14 holes.

Ghim heads to the longer South layout Friday just a shot back of leader Jon Rahm in the Farmers Insurance Open, with hopes of a strong finish given his status is on the Web.com Tour.

“A good finish would go a long way this week,” Ghim said after posting his 9-under-par round on the North Course. “It’s kind of tough playing both tours at the beginning of the year, but I was lucky enough that it’s early in the Web season that, with 12 starts, it gives me the opportunity to see which is going better on which tour.”

Ghim, 22, the 2017 U.S. Amateur runner-up, made the most of his Farmer’s invitation with nine birdies in an 11-hole stretch. The round was capped off by a 17th-hole eagle.

“It’s a cool place, I’m really lucky to be here and I was lucky to capitalize on my round today.”

Ghim found out about the Farmers’ invite from tournament director Peter Ripa in early January. This is just his third PGA Tour start and comes on the heels of a T45 finish in last week’s Web.com Tour Bahamas Great Exuma Classic.

The low amateur in last year’s Masters, Ghim’s emphasis on precision and putting over distance will be tested on the PGA Tour’s longest layout. But he’s already proven his ability on the Poa annua greens that irritate so many of the tour’s finest.

“I feel like as long as you strike the putt well it’s going to hop here and there, but if you put a good roll on it, it’s going to find its way to the hole.”

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