By Rob Moseley
Thomas Lim picked the worst time to play poorly. And the best time to get his game going again.
Last week, the Oregon men’s golf team held qualifying for its first event of the fall schedule, Monday and Tuesday of this week in Bremerton, Wash. Lim, a promising UO freshman from Moorpark, Calif., was tinkering with his swing at the time, and didn’t make the Ducks’ five-player team for the Husky Invitational.
Relegated to playing as an individual on a different course, Lim made his collegiate debut a resounding success. He shot rounds of 68-67-66 to finish at 12-under 201, taking first in a tournament for players not in the team competition.
Perhaps needless to say, Lim will be in the top five for Oregon’s next event, beginning Monday in Monterey, Calif.
“Winning that event by nine shots,” UO coach Casey Martin said, “was a huge statement.”
Lim, who began playing competitive golf at the age of 6, figured to be a contender for the Ducks this season. At a team retreat earlier this fall, he was 17 under over three rounds, on a tougher course than the par-71, 6,707-yard Cascade Course at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton that hosted this week’s individual tournament.
But the four rounds of qualifying last week didn’t go as well.
“The past three weeks I’ve been playing lights out – except for qualifying,” Lim said. “But it is what it is. I might not have (won) on the other course, so I’m happy with how it worked out.”
Playing against a field littered with foes familiar from his junior days, Lim said he wasn’t intimidated by the prospects of his first college event. The format did prove challenging, with 36 holes Monday followed by another 18 on Tuesday.
Monday’s two rounds were Lim’s first carrying his bag over 36 holes in the same day. He adjusted his food and water intake accordingly, and kept in mind Martin’s simple advice: stay positive.
“I’ve always struggled with putting together low round after low round,” Lim said. “(Shooting 68-67-66) just shows my game is progressing and I’m getting into the flow of things.”
Lim said the swing adjustment he made last week “wasn’t a hard change, but getting there was a little tough.” Not a long hitter, Lim’s short irons and putting need to be sharp for him to score low, and that was the case this week.
“I was just on fire – sticking it close, making putts,” Lim said. “I probably made three 40-footers.”
Lim said he didn’t have specific goals for his freshman season with the Ducks. The victory this week “definitely shows that I can compete. Honestly, I think I can contribute to the team and that with my help we can make it pretty far,” he said.
He’ll have the chance to contribute in Monterey next week, thanks to the triumphant debut event that followed Lim’s frustrating qualifying performance.
“That’s kind of the nature of golf a little bit,” Martin said. “The short term and long term don’t always match up, as far as where you’re at. He’d been playing beautifully. He’ll get in the lineup this week, and I doubt he’ll relinquish it.”