Final Season Begins at the U.S. Open for Taiwan's Chun An Yu
2020-21 Men's Golf Features/Links | Sun Devil Men's Golf All-Time Medalists | Sun Devil Men's Golf All-Americans | Caddying is ASU golf coach's bag for a week, as long as the bag isn't too heavy (by Kent Somers, Arizona Republic:Sept. 15, 2020)
(Written by Christian López, a senior from Tucson in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications)
It's a beautiful sunny day out on the green.
The weather outside is a perfect 77 degrees with the sun reaching every curve of the course.
Each blade of grass begins to shine from the lingering morning dew. It crunches under the pressure of shoes as players begin to take their place on the green. Electricity fills the air like a breeze rushing over all who are present. Chun An Yu carefully pulls out a driver from his bag after analyzing his surroundings. He takes a calculated breath as he prepares to swing, feeling peace as well as a charge of energy flowing through his body. And, in a flash, the ball is gone.
This is the setting that awaits 22-year-old Arizona State University student-athlete Chun An Yu as he prepares for his tee off at his third U.S. Open Championship in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
Chun An Yu, who also goes by Kevin, has had a passion for golf since he was five years old. "My dad is a professional golfer in Taiwan…he owns a range too, so I pretty much just grew up in a golf family," Yu said.
Although Yu has been playing for years with the guidance of his father, his first glimpse of inspiration came from his first golf tournament when he was in first grade.
"I just loved the game and loved to compete. I guess it was just the passion for golf that made me want to play professional," Yu stated, remembering how he used this experience to train harder.
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Yu continued to get better at working on his ability to enhance his skills and move toward his future career in golf with support from his family, even in the toughest of times.
"I've been grinding since I was like seven. Things won't always go your way," Yu said. "My dad was always my mental coach, he helped me go through it…step by step."
Although Yu's father was a huge part of his journey to professional golf, he was not the only influence who helped propel him onto one of the biggest stages in the sport. C.T. Pan, a longtime friend who grew up in Taiwan, was influential for Yu. "When I was like 15 or 16 C.T. Pan kind of changed my life," Yu said.
Yu visited Pan at The University of Washington. It was then that Pan convinced Yu to get an education.
"I mean from my standpoint, I'm a guy from Taiwan, so far away from the U.S.," Yu said. "To come here and study for years and try to get a degree, it's not easy."
— Chun An Yu (@kevingolfyu) September 17, 2020
Despite the challenges of a new country, Yu made the decision to come to the United States and begin his search for the perfect school. With endless opportunities for schools, Yu decided on Arizona State University with the help of Pan and the warm and sunny weather the university had to offer.
"Pan always mentioned coach Thurmond was a great guy," Yu stated.
With the guidance of Matt Thurmond, Yu has had an incredible experience at ASU with many memories, from playing at his first U.S. Open to hanging out with his fellow team members on and off the course.
These are the moments that Yu will cherish beyond his years at ASU, as well as the "team spirit" and morale.
"Never, never, never give up until the last putt drops…no matter what kind of day you have," Yu said.
Very similar to Yu's favorite superhero, the Flash, he plans to utilize his precision and adaptability at the U.S. Open, representing ASU along with his coach, confidant and caddie Matt Thurmond. Yu will take his time and savor the moment.
"To represent ASU is always one thing I want to do," Yu said. "To wear that big pitchfork on my chest."