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    Fil-Am golfer Rico Hoey's US Public Links run ends in quarterfinals; Ghim, Meth advance to title match

    Jul 19, 2014

    NEWTON, Kansas — Faced with adversity for the first time this week at the US Amateur Public Links Championship, a feeling of hopelessness nearly overtook 18-year old Doug Ghim in the semifinals.

    The future Texas Longhorns golfer trailed for the first time at the APL and faced a three-hole deficit against Oklahoma senior and Sterling, Kansas native Michael Gellerman with six holes left.

    Luckily he had someone who knew perfectly how to ease his troubles — his dad, Jim, who was caddying for him.

    Ghim was able to rally back at Sand Creek Station Golf Course and clinch a berth to the finals with a win on the 18th hole. He'll face Byron Meth in the 36-hole finals. Meth advanced with a 6 and 5 semifinal win over Jess Bonneau.

    Bonneau had eliminated Fil-American Rico Hoey in the quarterfinals 5 and 3.

    Hoey earlier downed Arizona's Matt Record, 3 and 2, in the round-of-16.

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    "It really was difficult," Ghim said. "It took everything out of me. At one point I thought it might be too late. But my dad, thankful he was there. He kept pushing me. He kept reminding me that I wasn't out of it and that I've been playing well and there is no reason I cannot play well the last couple of holes."

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    After Gellerman took the 3 up lead after the 12th hole, Ghim responded with a win on the 13th. He parlayed the momentum into a birdie on the 14th to cut Gellerman's lead to one.

    On the par 4 16th, both players struggled. Ghim's approach shot missed the green and he faced a difficult chip that rested against the collar.

    "Not really sure how the ball was going to come out," Ghim said. "So I played it conservatively. Didn't want to knock it way by and give Michael a free run at par and give him a little bit of hope."

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    Ghim's chip settled 8 feet from the hole. After Gellerman missed a lengthy par attempt, Ghim drained his putt to even the match.

    "I knew if I didn't make it, 17 and 18 would be very difficult," Ghim said. "Thankfully it went in."

    On 18, Gellerman missed the green right while Ghim stuck a 164-yard 6-iron into a howling wind to 10 feet. After Gellerman missed a par attempt, he conceded the birdie to Ghim for the victory.

    Meth, a golfer at Pacific, didn't have quite the dramatic finish against the 43-year old Bonneau. He started with two birdies and kept the momentum going en route to a dominating win.

    Once Meth got the lead, he never backed off.

    "I try not to give them any ground," Meth said of when he gets a lead. "Pick my spots, make aggressive swings and smart targets and then take it from there."

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