By Lisa Marien
Northwest Asian Weekly
Gunn Yang, 20, born September 30, 1993, originally from Pyeongchang, South Korea, hasn’t gone professional yet but is well on his way to becoming another one of the many up and coming young Asians to reign in golfing.
He is an understated but determined competitor.
In 2014, Yang won the U.S. Amateur Championship. He became the second South Korean to claim the U.S. Amateur title. He competed in his first major championship in 2015, competing in the Masters Tournament.
Yang’s U.S. Amateur victory has secured him spots in the 2015 Masters, U.S. Open, and British Open and he will be qualified for a handful of PGA Tour events as well.
He moved to Australia when he was 12 and played amateur golf for five years before moving to the U.S. He attended Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, CA and earned a scholarship to play in his hometown. Yang’s home course is in San Diego at The Grand Golf Club.
The rise to success has at times been difficult for Yang. After overcoming some recent health difficulties, Yang has overcome adversities such as his back issues, which he has endured since 2008. Yang underwent laser endoscopic spinal surgery in May 2013 to fix a herniated disk. His back still tightens up on occasion, even now, and Yang says he’s only about “90 percent” physically.
Yang plans to take a year off from San Diego State and the Aztecs to play pro
events in Korea, Japan, and Australia as an amateur. In fact, his San Diego State coach, Ryan Donavon had commented recently that his biggest challenge would be keeping Yang in school.
Aside from the bumps in the road, coach Donavon is one of Yang’s best advocates. “I think it’s a great story for golf,” Donovan said. “Somebody who isn’t that guy with the big résumé, and now he can say that he’s got a fair shot just like everybody else. You can change your life, really, in one week. It’s going to be a game-changer.”
According to Yang, “I’m improving every day, every month,” he said. “But I still think my game cannot be compared to the pros. When the pros make mistakes they still find a way to make it around and make the cut. When I make a mistake, I don’t have enough weapons to recover.”
With Yang’s continued efforts on the course, there is no doubt that he will add excitement and anticipation to 2015 in Chambers Bay. (end)