Doug Ghim is just one of a few dozen PGA Tour, Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour Champions, Symetra LPGA Tour and LPGA Tour players who have strong ties to Las Vegas, but his recent finish at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship might go down as the most magical that any player had in 2019.
Winning a PGA Tour or LPGA Tour event comes with a lot of pressure, but when an entire career is on the line, the pressure gets turned up to “break-a-pipe” levels. Ghim faced just such a moment on Labor Day at Victoria National Golf Club in Indiana when he needed to make a 10-foot par putt on the tournament’s final hole to earn exempt PGA Tour status and access to the tour’s multi-million-dollar purses.
A miss meant another season in the Korn Ferry Tour minor leagues and scrambling for an occasional spot in PGA Tour tournaments through qualifiers or exemptions.
Ghim, 23, and a member of the Summit, drained the putt and the emotions took over. First came fist pumps and smiles, but then tears flowed as the realization of a dream coming true overwhelmed him.
“It’s been a crazy year full of incredible experiences at the highest level, and some of the darkest lows I have ever had,” Ghim posted on Twitter a few hours after his epic putt found the bottom of the cup. “And to think it all came down to one putt is unbelievable still. Thank you to everyone who’s ever rooted for me, believed in me or even told me to my face that it was a pipe dream.”
Ghim’s, father, Jeff, introduced him to the game on Labor Day 17 years ago, taught him and served as his caddie until 2018.
“P.S. Dad-We did it!” Ghim wrote as part of the tweet. “You always told me that I’d be able to make it and when that putt dropped, the first person I thought of was you.”
Raiders vs. Broncos golf match
The first in a series of scheduled “celebrity grudge matches” is Saturday at Aliante Golf Club and features former Raiders versus Broncos and other celebrities.
A meet and greet is Friday at the course and tickets are $50. Limited playing spots for the golf are available for $500 for two players and include tickets to the meet and greet. Scheduled to play include Byron Chamberlain, Willie Gault, Rick Upchurch, Jay Schroeder, Greg Ball and several others. Information at celebritygrudgematch.eventbrite.com.
Play golf happy hour at the lighted Las Vegas Golf Center from 3-10 p.m. for $27 and get 9 holes, range balls and two free drinks (beer, well or soda).
Ace in the hole
Albert Tabola knocked in an 8-iron from 138 yards on the 16th hole at Desert Willow.
The doctor is in
Dr. Joel Bower, a longtime Southern Nevada physician, is organizing the 22nd annual Bower Golf Tournament on Oct. 18 at Wildhorse to benefit Nevada Health Centers Bower-School based health care at Basic Academy. Info at bowergolftourney.com.
The golf notebook appears Wednesdays. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @LVGolfInsider.