LOS ANGELES (AP) When Doug Ghim's winning putt dropped on the 17th hole of his U.S. Amateur semifinal, he immediately realized he has a second chance at a missed opportunity.
Ghim narrowly lost the chance to play in the Masters in 2014 when he blew a lead on the final hole of the U.S. Public Links Amateur, a failure that annoys and motivates the University of Texas senior to this day.
After reaching the final of the U.S. Amateur along with Doc Redman on Saturday, he is almost certain to get an invitation to play at Augusta next year. He can't wait to walk up the fairways with his father, Jeff, carrying his bag.
Before that, he has the chance to earn an even bigger honor: Ghim and Redman will play 36 holes at Riviera Country Club on Sunday to determine the winner of the Havemeyer Trophy and the 117th edition of the Amateur.
Ghim's father will be right alongside him, just as he has been throughout the Chicago-area native's life and career.
''I'm not really sure if I can quantify what it means to me to be out there with him (Sunday),'' Ghim said. ''We've shared so many good moments and so many really difficult ones. In 2014 ... the difficult part was knowing that I could have walked out on the fairway of Augusta with my father, and that was basically taken away from me. It was the first thing that popped into my head (Saturday): We're going to Masters, likely.''
Redman lost a late lead before holding off Mark Lawrence Jr. 1 up, while Ghim beat Theo Humphrey 2 and 1 in his latest outstanding performance.
Ghim is the highest-ranked player left in the field at No. 7 after a strong year that includes the Big 12's Player of the Year award and a victory in the Pacific Coast Amateur. But after making six bogeys in Friday's windy victory over Scotland's Connor Syme, Ghim hit a steady stream of fairways and greens in beautifully windless conditions in the semifinal.
If Ghim wins, he'll complete an amateur sweep for the Longhorns after Sophia Schubert won the U.S. Women's Amateur in San Diego last week.
Ghim surged 4 up on Humphrey on the back nine. A few hiccups allowed Humphrey to halve the lead, but Ghim finished strong, holing the tough par putt to end it. He embraced his father while his family cheered from the gallery a few steps away.
Ghim's father was born in South Korea and only picked up golf as an adult. Before Doug eventually got onto a golf course, Jeff taught his young son through hundreds of hours in the backyard hitting into a tennis net.
''I had no idea what the rules of golf were,'' Doug said with a laugh. ''I just knew how to hit the golf ball.''
Redman doesn't have Ghim's list of accomplishments yet, but he finished second in the Western Amateur with steadily improving play this year.
Redman plays at Clemson, but has spent the past three summers caddying for extra money back home in North Carolina. He is heading back to school immediately after the weekend, but he continued his late-week surge after a self-described ''horrendous'' performance during stroke play left him on the verge of an early exit, forcing him to qualify for match play through a playoff.
''I didn't think after I finished it, I had any chance of moving on to match play,'' Redman said of Tuesday's round. ''I figured if it was meant to be, it would happen. We went to the beach. We went to a Dodgers game. I was trying to chill and not really check my phone.''
Redman has been solid throughout match play, and he held a lead over Lawrence from the fourth to the 17th hole.
Lawrence evened it with a long, gutsy eagle putt on the 17th. Undeterred, Redman calmly made par on the 18th and won it after Lawrence rolled an errant putt across the length of the firmest green on the course.
''I knew that eventually I would start playing some good golf,'' Redman said. ''I just tried to stay confident and comfortable.''