From The Western Golf Association
CHICAGO (July 30, 2014) – The Western Amateur prides itself on its international field, but a local player seized the lead Wednesday morning when he broke the 47-year-old competitive course record at The Beverly Country Club on the city’s Southwest Side.
Recent Buffalo Grove High School graduate Doug Ghim, 18, of Arlington Heights, Illinois, curled in a 10-foot left-to-right side hill birdie putt on the par 5 18th hole to shoot an 8-under par 63, eclipsing the previous record of 64 set by Tom Weiskopf during the 1967 Western Open Pro-Am.
“We just played smart all day,” Ghim said after signing his bogey-free scorecard. “My dad [who is both his teacher and caddie] and I made sure – especially after yesterday seeing how important having uphill putts is out here – that pin-high was about as far as we’re going to go into the green… For most of the day I was underneath the hole and made a couple of putts along the way.”
Ghim stood at 10-under par for the tournament, three strokes ahead of Bryson DeChambeau, who shot 3 under to get to 7 under for the tournament. Xander Schauffele shot 4 under to get to 6 under for the tournament.
Ghim said more benign wind conditions made the course play a bit easier as compared with earlier in the week, when gusts reached up to 30 miles an hour.
Ghim didn’t make a birdie his first five holes but then birdied seven out of his next nine, starting with a 2 on the par 3 sixth. He also parred the difficult par 3, 213-yard 17th, which is playing a half-stroke over par and is the most difficult hole on the course.
Ghim, who will be a freshman at Texas in the fall, recently finished runner up at the U.S. Public Links, where he was co-medalist in stroke play and lost in the finals on the first extra hole.
And he likes playing a tournament at home for a change.
“It’s a little bit easier when a tournament this big is at home,” he said. “Sleeping in your own bed, I’m not really that tired.”
Ghim said his approach won’t change tomorrow,
“Stay below the hole, keep it in the fairway, make as many birdies as possible and give yourself as big a cushion and hopefully get a good seeding going into match play,” he said.
Ghim played with 15-year-old Chinese sensation Tianlang Guan, who slipped to a 3-over 74 after opening with 67. He currently stands at 1-under par for the tournament.