Ghim to miss Evans Scholars tourney in Glenview after PGA invite
Doug Ghim could have been the star of the show in the Evans Scholars Invitational, a new Web.com Tour event that tees off Thursday at The Glen Club in Glenview. The Arlington Heights product won't be there, though -- and for good reason.
The low amateur at the 2018 Masters while he was finishing up a banner career at the University of Texas, Ghim has accepted a sponsor's exemption into a PGA Tour event. He'll tee it up in the Charles Schwab Challenge instead.
Ghim, 23, earned his place on the Web.com Tour with a third-place finish in last fall's qualifying tournament. It's the best pathway to the PGA Tour, but when there's an opportunity to play on the premier circuit Ghim has taken it. The prize money is much better and invitations to play have been there, too.
In the 2018 portion of the PGA Tour season Ghim got into four events and had top-25 finishes in two of them. He has played in four more in the 2019 portion and cashed big in two of them -- $79,804 for a tie for 20th in the Farmer's Insurance Open in January and $154,840 for a tie for 12th in the AT&T Byron Nelson Classic two weeks ago.
The Byron Nelson and Schwab Challenge are both Texas events, and Ghim established himself in the Longhorn State through his collegiate performances. The pro stops were only too happy to invite him to their events.
"I'm excited about where my game is going," Ghim said after staying in contention until making bogeys on two of the last three holes of the Byron Nelson event.
"Obviously I've just started doing this," said Ghim. "It can be pretty stressful when you're doing it for a living year-in and year-out. Next time I get into position I'll be more comfortable."
His record on the PGA Tour is better than he's done on the Web.com. Ghim has struggled after notching a tie for third in Colombia in the Web.com's second tournament of the season. He had missed cuts in the two straight tournaments on the secondary tour prior to his strong showing in the Byron Nelson and a final round 73 dropped him into a tie for 57th in the Nashville Open Sunday.
As a rookie on the Web.com Ghim has made six of nine cuts and earned $56,000.
NCAA titles on the line: The NCAA women's champion will be decided Wednesday at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark. Illinois and Purdue tied for ninth in the stroke play portion of the tournament, with the top eight advancing to match play. Northwestern was 13th.
On the men's side, coach Mike Small's Illini are peaking heading into Friday's tourney start. They won their fifth straight Big Ten title and fifth NCAA regional crown in the last two tournaments.
The Illini are in the NCAA finals for the 12th consecutive year. They've finished in the top five in five of the last six years. This year's team is led by Michael Feagles, who used a final-round 65 to win medalist honors in the Myrtle Beach Regional. He's the school's fifth regional medalist.
Senior milestone for Sheppard: East Peoria's Tim Sheppard became the first golfer to claim all three senior championships conducted by the Chicago District Golf Association when he took last week's CDGA Senior Amateur at Briar Ridge, in Schererville, Ind.
Last year's CDGA Senior Player of the Year, Sheppard previously had wins in the Illinois State Senior Amateur and the CDGA Senior Amateur Four-Ball.
The Illinois PGA also conducted its Senior Match Play event at Shoreacres, in Lake Bluff. John Varner, of Chicago's Beverly Country Club, made birdie on the last hole of regulation play to take a 1-up victory over Ivanhoe's Jim Sobb in the title match. It was Varner's first IPGA victory.