NEWTON, Kan. – Doug Ghim and Byron Meth each won four holes
and are all square after the morning round of their 36-hole championship match of
the 2014 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at the 7,365-yard, par-71 Sand
Creek Station Golf Course.
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After the players halved the first four holes, Meth, 21, of
San Diego, pulled ahead at the fifth when Ghim hit his approach over the green
into fescue and conceded the hole after failing to advance the ball in two
attempts. Meth went 2 up when Ghim three-putted from 50 feet on the sixth – his
second missed putt of 5 feet in the early going.
Ghim, 18, of Arlington Heights, Ill., finally got the putter
rolling at No. 7 when he drained a 12-footer for birdie to get back to 1 down. He
then capitalized on two miscues by Meth to win Nos. 9 and 10.
On the 305-yard ninth, Meth laid back with an iron, but chunked
his wedge short of the green and made bogey. On the par-5 10th, Meth lost his
tee shot out of bounds and hit two other balls into the hazard before conceding
the hole to Ghim. It was the first time all championship – a span of 92 holes –
that Meth had trailed in a match.
Meth immediately squared the match with a birdie at No. 11,
but Ghim responded at the short 263-yard 12th. He hit a 3-wood to 10 feet and
converted the eagle putt to win the hole. After they halved the next two holes
with pars, Meth rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt to square the match.
The players halved the last three holes with routine pars
and went into the break all square.
“It’s very close, very similar to my match with [2013
champion Jordan] Niebrugge,” said Ghim. “A couple of putts here and there could
have changed the match a bit, but at the end of the day I’m very satisfied.”
“We both played pretty good,” said Meth, who made five
birdies. “This is the most fun I’ve ever had. I haven’t been able to wipe the
smile off my face all day.”
The 36-hole final, the 89th and last in Amateur Public Links
history, resumed at 11:30 a.m. CDT.
Michael Trostel is the senior curator/historian
at the USGA Museum. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.