PGA Tour rookie Andrew Yun might not hit superhuman drives like Dustin Johnson just yet. However, Yun’s consistent record of success on every level he’s played is a testament that greatness can be achieved through steadfast dedication and unbroken focus.
Andrew began playing golf as a 7-year-old in Tacoma, Washington. At age 11, he broke par for the first time at the Washington State Junior Championship. “I remember going into the final round, I had shot 72 numerous times, never being able to break that threshold,” Yun said. “That day I shot 67 to win the tournament, and remember it was the first time feeling like I was in the zone.”
While most 11-year-olds are easily distracted, Yun was developing a remarkable sense of purpose. When he wasn’t at school or sleeping, you could find him on a golf course. By age 14, Andrew blossomed into an accomplished junior golfer, and in 2009 was ranked as the nation’s No. 6 boy’s golfer by GolfWeek Magazine.
Eager to devote even more time to the game he loved, Andrew implored his mom and dad to move to a warmer, practice-friendly environment. In an incredible act of sacrifice, Yun’s parents sold nearly everything they owned and left the Pacific Northwest so their son could pursue his golf dreams year-round in Arizona. It wound up being a great decision.
Andrew led the Hamilton High Boy’s Golf Team to three straight state championships and was a three-time Junior All-American finishing atop the leaderboard at numerous AJGA events. Yun’s skillset grew further at Stanford University, where he earned All-American honors in three seasons. The Cardinal finished with the third-lowest scoring average in Stanford Men’s Golf history behind only Patrick Rodgers and Tiger Woods.
Yun learned at an early age that cultivating a champion mindset and work ethic was crucial to maximizing his potential. He attributes his mental toughness to the many tournaments he played in during those years and encourages aspiring junior golfers to compete early and often. “Competition breeds excellence and perseverance, and nothing can replace experience,” Yun said. “Everybody handles pressure differently, but you can only learn and grow when you’re in those pressure-packed situations.”
One of those situations came in 2014, during the Second Stage of qualifying for the Web.com Tour. Yun failed twice to get through this stage before, but on the par-5, 7th hole at Deerwood Golf Club, he hit one of the biggest shots of his career.
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“Playing under tough conditions to start the last round, I was on the cut line of making it to the final stage when I hit this beautiful draw 7-wood for my second shot that landed just short of the hole and rolled past 15 feet,” Yun said. “It doesn’t sound too impressive, but I would make the putt for eagle and cruise the rest of the way to make it to Third Stage, and remember that gave me a lot of confidence going into final stage and eventually getting my Web.com Tour card.”
Yun ultimately played his way onto the PGA Tour by finishing 13th on the Web.com Money List with two runner-up finishes, two third-place finishes, and five top-10 finishes in 2017. On any level of competition, these are impressive performances. However, Andrew has even greater aspirations for his rookie campaign on Tour. Yun’s goals are to play in the final group on Sunday at least three times, finish top-10 in a major, make the Tour Championship, and win a tournament.
Relying on pinpoint accuracy, a gifted short game, and meticulous preparation to play his best, Andrew savors the game’s unique nature – battling the course more than an opponent. “I’d like to have better control of my thoughts and emotions, continue to learn and grow every week, and play with freedom,” Yun said. “I know that I can judge myself too harshly and not give myself enough grace sometimes, but getting too caught up in the results can rob us of the joy of learning about ourselves.”
Much of Yun’s incredible poise on the course stems from his faith, and that will help steady his swing as he navigates through the grueling ups-and-downs of the upcoming season. In the bigger picture, Andrew believes earning his Tour card is an opportunity to make an impact off the course as well. “I have been on a couple mission trips with my dad to India, and they have been very short but so rewarding,” Yun said. “Someday I would love to spread the gospel in another third-world country to get a better glimpse of the challenges they face and be able to grow in my faith.”
Away from the game, Andrew enjoys hiking, rooting for the Seahawks, and is known to do some great impersonations – like Smeagol from Lord of the Rings and Bobby Boucher Jr. from The Waterboy. Ironically, he’s also terrified of heights. That’s something Yun needs to conquer because his tenacious devotion to the game and razor-sharp focus makes it likely he’ll be soaring into the winner’s circle on Tour much sooner than later.