No. 1! Chun An Yu Reaches Top of World Golf Amateur Rankings
By Brandon Jones
Sun Devil men's golf star Chun An "Kevin" Yu took the top spot in the World Amateur Golf Rankings on Wednesday. Yu appeared in the U.S. Open Championship at Winged Foot in September for the third straight year and finished 13th in his most recent tournament action at the Maridoe Invitational.
Yu is an "extra" year senior, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic leading to the cancellation of all spring collegiate sports and the NCAA granting all spring athletes an extra year of eligibility. In his career at ASU, Yu has a 70.4 stroke average in 38 tournaments, with 78 out of 116 rounds at par or better.
Yu has seen great success in the amateurs. He was on a hot streak during his junior season, with seven top-five finishes in nine tournaments, including a win at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational and a third-place finish at NCAA Championships. He has also posted solid success in non-collegiate amateur tournaments.
He placed fifth at the Asia-Pacific Amateur, 18th at the Western Amateur, second at the Porter Cup and 17th at the Players Amateur. He also finished fifth at the Emirates Australian Open in December 2019 before finishing 103rd at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his last tournament appearance before all of the cancellations.
"He has all the skills," coach Matt Thurmond said of Yu. "He hits it far, high, and on a string. He [chips] and putts it well, and he never takes a shot off."
Thurmond spoke a lot about Yu's mental game and attitude.
"He's really relentless in his consistency of focus and effort," Thurmond said. "He just stays with things and keeps working and working."
Thurmond and Yu have had multiple prior conversations about his ranking, as Yu entered September's U.S. Open as the world's third-ranked amateur.
"This is something he and I have talked about often," Thurmond said. "It was a very big goal for him and for me and it's very satisfying to see it reached. I'm so happy for him."
While Yu heard about the ranking, he was doing what all great golfers do for countless hours. He was out practicing.
"He was out working hard today," Thurmond said. "He knows that part of being a powerfully humble competitor is having to go earn it every single day all over again. He knows it doesn't get easier from here, but harder and he will be up for it. He's a really tough competitor."