Get To Know Gunn Yang
August 18, 2014
SCGA Member Gunn Yang became the lowest-ranked player ever to win the U.S. Amateur Championship. It got us thinking: Who is this kid? We caught up with Gunn as he was about to board his flight back to Southern California.
Crazy last 24 hours for you. How are you feeling?
Physically and mentally exhausted! Including practice rounds, I think I played something like 11 rounds in a week. That's a lot of golf!
What has the reaction been like to the win?
Amazing. After the event I had like two hours of interviews and then had to sign a bunch of stuff. But there were kids waiting outside, in the rain, for my autograph, so I really wanted to sign something for everyone who waited. They had come out to watch me play and I wanted to do that for them. Then I had an email from the Farmers Insurance Open inviting me to play in their event in January and I let them know that I was interested and would let them know in the next week or so. I've also been invited to play in the Japan Open, so I'll have to consider that.
You played in our SCGA Amateur Championship and SCGA Match Play Championship this summer but we hadn't seen you before then. Why not?
Honestly, I hadn't really played any summer golf until this year. In 2008 I hurt my back so I had been playing six months of golf and then taking six months off ever since then, with the summer being my resting time. But last May I decided it was time to get surgery, so I had a laser spinal surgery. After recovering, I just tried to play as much as I could this summer. I played in a ton of city events as well.
Seems to have paid off. Did you feel your game was at its peak going into this last week?
I was definitely posting a lot of sub-par rounds. I played so many events this summer that I think I was just building the right kind of experience. Even in a bigger event, golf is golf. The strength of field may be different, but I told myself regardless I would just play my own game and that any positive results would come from that.
What has your San Diego State University experience been like thus far?
I can't really comment on that since I only played in two events last year. I finished in the Top-10 in one though, so that was a good experience.
What brought you to SDSU?
I moved to the U.S. in 2011 and attended Torrey Pines HS. I was recruited by Washington State and SDSU, and that was really it because I started the process late. I was already a senior. But I wanted to stay in San Diego because the weather is great and there's a tremendous opportunity to play golf. And [Head Coach] Ryan Donovan was so nice.
What was your golf history prior to moving here?
I started playing golf when I was 11. I wanted to move to the U.S. then but I wasn't able to get a Visa. I decided to move to Australia to play competitive golf there and stayed until I was 17.
For a full recap of Gunn's U.S. Amateur victory, click here.