Am Stars Ghim, Hardy, Meyer make PGA Tour Debut at Travelers
Nick Hardy played in two U.S. Open's as an amateur
CROMWELL, CT (June 24, 2018) - Amateur stars Doug Ghim, Nick Hardy and Dylan Meyer made their professional PGA Tour debuts this week at the Travelers Championship. Over the years the Travelers Championship has been the launching pad for a number of newly turned professionals with the likes of Jon Rahm and others teeing it up for their first chance to earn a golfing pay check.
Of the trio in the field this year at one of the tours oldest stops, Hardy was the lone newly turned professional to make the cut. The Illinois star and 2018 Big Ten Player of the Year, Hardy finished his week 1-under in a tie for 61st capping his week with a birdie on the 72nd hole. Hardy, who made his professional debut earlier in the month at the Web.com's Rust-Oleum Championship, set up the birdie with an approach shot from 101 yards out to five-feet.
"It is definitely different (having to work to make cuts every week) but I just try not to put to much pressure on myself to make cuts," Hardy said following his Friday round. "I just try to always think about the leader and chasing the leader so I think if you always set your sights high then you can make cuts."
No stranger to PGA Tour events, Hardy had previously played in the 2015 and 2016 U.S. Open and the 2017 John Deere Classic where he made the cut. Hardy opened his week with rounds of 69-68 to enter the weekend at 3-under and one better than the 2-under cut line.
"I think playing four years for (head) coach (Mike) Small and Illinois helped me a lot because it helped me realize how important controlling your emotions are on the course and the mindset and I have noticed out here, it really makes a big difference," Hardy said. "Every shot counts a lot and you are just trying to save as many shots as you can out there. Amateur golf and coach Small prepared me really well for these two tournaments that I have already played in."
Hardy's former teammate at Illinois Dylan Meyer, coming of a tied for 20th showing at last weeks U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, failed to make the cut in Cromwell after carding rounds of 70-75. Meyer's amateur career included a win at the 2016 Western Amateur which he followed up a week later with a quarterfinal run in the U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club.
"Dylan and I lived together and to get the same start basically to our careers out here is pretty cool and two kids from Illinois is pretty cool too. Him and I are best buds, been through a lot together and starting together out here is pretty cool," Hardy said.
Doug Ghim entered the Travelers Championship as the top-ranked amateur in the world before finishing 8-over to miss the cut. Ghim opened with a disappointing 78 before rebounding nicely on Friday with an even-par tally of 70.
“It’s a dream come true. To do it here at a venue like this, I’m truly honored,” Ghim said prior to the tournament beginning. “I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be able to play against such a great field this week, and I just finished a practice round with Jordan Spieth, and, you know, it’s really — I mean, I can’t explain to you how proud I am to be here, and I’m just really excited to get things rolling.”
2-over for the day late in the second round, Ghim birdied the par-5 13th and par-4 closing hole to get back to level par for the round as he finished on a upswing. In the field this week after finishing as the U.S. Amateur runner-up last year, Ghim recently completed a decorated career at Texas that included four individual wins (three during his senior year), low amateur honors at the Masters, the 2018 Ben Hogan Award and being apart of a winning Walker Cup team last September. And that is just the spark notes version of what he has accomplished.
"I feel like I have done almost everything that I have wanted to do and I am really excited to go to the next chapter of my golfing career," said Ghim last week following a U.S. Open practice round.
"I'm going to miss amateur golf it is a lot of fun," said Ghim. "It is playing for pride rather than a pay check. But I have always dreamed of being a professional golfer and I have had a pretty good run as an amateur."