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August 17, 2017

Doug Ghim

Pacific Palisades, California

THE MODERATOR: We have Doug Ghim, 3 and 2 winner over Joe Vzrich in the third round to advance to the quarterfinals. Two steps better than last year, right?


THE MODERATOR: Give us a quick synopsis of the match, where it turned in your favor, what you thought about your play.

DOUG GHIM: Just the afternoon?


DOUG GHIM: Well, it was going back and forth probably I would say the first five holes. I made a really good par on 1 to halve and another maybe nine-footer to win the hole on 2. He battled back and stiffed one on 3 on me to square the match.

But I think where I started winning was the par-3, 6. I hit it in there pretty tight and he wasn't able to get up and down from the back left part of the green. I went one up; won the 8th hole.

From then on, just kind of kept it down.


Q. Very quickly, just a word about the momentum that you carried in from this morning. Just a brief word about that. Because obviously that's a very important part of match play, to be feeling good about your game.
DOUG GHIM: Absolutely. As mentioned, two steps further than I made it last year at the Am. You know, I was a bit nervous in the morning. Didn't have my A Game, I would say.

But I think being able to win against Theegala with not the sharpest game gave me enough confidence to start getting in a rhythm. I hit the range in between rounds and found something and came out there and felt comfortable immediately.

It showed. The putter stayed hot. That was important.

Q. What was the little thing you found? Maybe just a tiny thing, but can be very important.
DOUG GHIM: I was just -- I felt like I was getting too quick, especially on the take away. I felt like I was forcing the club back, so I just decided to go a little smoother and finish my backswing.

Once that started to work, the doubt from the morning just kind of disappeared and I started playing the way I have been playing.

So that was nice. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
DOUG GHIM: For sure. You know, coming into this year I hadn't won a tournament in a very long time. It's not the same sport or anything, but it is a little bit inspiring when a 108-year curse is lifted.

So I told my dad this is the year I'm going to get a big win. Won the Pac Coast this year, which was nice, but that's not the World Series.

We'll see. There are a lot of good competitors out there. Taking it one day at a time.

Q. You strike me as a guy who is not that emotional on the golf course. When you made that putt on 16, you really made a fist pump.
DOUG GHIM: Yeah. My dad kind of handles the emotional part for me. I feel like I have to stay grounded, especially when he's on the bag.

Yeah, I knew it was an important putt. Definitely feels better to win it instead of having to leave it up to your competitor.

I saw the opportunity to end on a high note and maybe send a message. When that putt went in I knew how big it was.

Q. What was your club in there?
DOUG GHIM: I hit a 9-iron. Tried to take the spin off it and pulled it a little bit. But the pin was kind of in a little bit of a bowl. Made a pretty easy putt.

Q. About eight feet?
DOUG GHIM: It was actually closer to ten, maybe twelve.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about Riviera and how you may have gotten more comfortable here as the week has gone along? Have you sort of grown in your feeling for the course this week?
DOUG GHIM: I would say so. You know, I'm not used to the grass out here. It's kikuyu and I'm from Chicago and that's bent. Where I go to school it's bermuda. There is not really any similarities.

Greens are po here. Like everything is pretty much different. Every day kind of getting familiar with different situations. If I do miss the fairway, kind of like using the experiences from the practice rounds and first couple rounds as like an index of how maybe the ball will react.

The course is also evolving every day that we play. We're constantly trying to pick up on new things. The greens are definitely firmer today. It was the first time playing Riviera in the afternoon for me because stroke play was in the morning for me. I was in part of that wave.

And then yesterday I was fortunate enough to have an early time in my round of 64 match. I was definitely picking on things. I hadn't seen wind like this on this golf course in particular, so I was trying to stay patient. Hit well enough to play well.

Q. On a day when you got to spend this many hours on the golf course, what kind of tricks do you know for staying mentally fresh and focused?
DOUG GHIM: I mean, I'm kind of used to it. I think us collegiate players in the States, we play a lot of 36-hole days, so I think it's not too hard. We're pretty used to it a lot.

I played in couple U.S. Juniors and the U.S. Amateur, Pub Links in 2014, so I've seen a couple 36-hole days. If you're lucky you can play less than 30 holes; if you're unlucky you might play 40.

I think just being sensitive of winning it all is just good enough to keep me focused. There is no place I would rather be right now than playing in the U.S. Am. If you give me an opportunity to stay alive and keep playing, I'm going to do it.

THE MODERATOR: Well played, my friend. Thank you much. Congratulations.

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