Yun looks to make his way back to the PGA TOUR
September 04, 2019
By Adam Stanley, PGATOUR.COM
- Andrew Yun’s ultimate goal is to get back to the PGA TOUR. (Kevin Light)
This time in 2018 Andrew Yun was just wrapping up his first PGA TOUR season. It was an unsuccessful one, and he’ll be the first to admit it.
But motivated by his growing family and a new sense of calmness, Yun is ready to spark a return and once again climb up golf’s ladder.
Yun struggled in his first PGA TOUR season and missed all but three cuts in 22 starts. He had finally earned a TOUR card after three spins around the Korn Ferry Tour (he finished 19th on the Regular Season money list in 2018) and was thrilled at the opportunity to take the next step in his career and life.
And then, well…
“I was struggling,” Yun admits. “For me, last year was such a dream come true, yes, but I was in a tough place with golf. I didn’t enjoy being on the golf course. It seems ironic because my dream came true. It was something I always wanted to do – play on the PGA TOUR – but I was struggling.”
The 28-year old says he just wasn’t playing good golf last year, but part of the problem was the quick turnaround from Korn Ferry Tour to the PGA TOUR. The Korn Ferry Tour season finished that year on a Monday, the same week the PGA TOUR’s 2018-19 season started – which meant a cross-country flight to California and a new challenge.
He also got engaged to his long-time girlfriend, Symetra Tour golfer Luciane Lee, during the week of the Farmers Insurance Open (“I wanted to do it early in the year and that was a perfect week to do it,” he says) and they got married in December. The couple is expecting their first child – a boy named Levi – on October 8.
Yun says that while golf never became secondary, it was tough to stay motivated while trying to learn and adjust to an ever-changing life.
“Last year I had such a terrible start to the season, and at the end I was just trying to play to make cuts. If you’re playing to make cuts, you’re probably going to be right on the cutline no matter how well you’re playing – which is exactly what I was doing,” he says.
Yun ended up 231st on the FedExCup standings, and had no status on either the Korn Ferry Tour or PGA TOUR to start the year. He went back to Q-School for the Mackenzie Tour in April and finished T14 at the Wigwam site in Arizona.
Although there has been more learning done this year – Yun had only been to Canada a handful of times prior to this year, and only to Vancouver and Whistler for skiing – he says he feels more at peace with everything on the course and off.
A year ago he says it was just hard to decompress – at any point. After three years on the Korn Ferry Tour, he was comfortable with all of the travel requirements and golf courses.
“On the PGA TOUR it was a whole new ball game,” says Yun. “You had new venues and you had to get to know them. As a rookie it was very tough and it was something I didn’t do that well.”
Although he’s had to adjust to life on the Mackenzie Tour – and a whole new set of cities and golf courses – he says he’s had a sense of calmness wash over him. While Yun’s ultimate goal is to get back to the PGA TOUR, he’s taking things more slowly. He’s focused on getting a little better each day and each round, and that focus is helping him stay more in the moment.
That’s not to say this year hasn’t been a difficult one.
Yun sits 24th on the Mackenzie Tour order of merit, and with one full-field event left, he’s comfortably secured status on the Mackenzie Tour again for 2020 and a spot in the Canada Life Championship.
But he says the competition is just as fierce as the Korn Ferry Tour.
“The top guys here can very well be the top guys on the Korn Ferry Tour. The scores are similar and the level of play is very similar,” he says.
And while Yun can speak authoritatively on the Korn Ferry Tour and its level of competition, his wife is a helpful authority on the rigors of professional golf.
Luciane, whose best result on the Symetra Tour in 2018 was a T22, has been the rock Yun has needed as he’s gone through a tough bought against golf this last year or so. Luciane understands the rigors of what Yun is going through almost better than anyone.
“She’s not new to any of that. She’s always encouraging me and been a steady presence in my life as the person I’ve been leaning on,” says Yun, “Especially when things have been tougher.”
Things have been tough, but a corner has been turned. Yun is well positioned now on the Mackenzie Tour for next year and beyond. He’s about to become a father for the first time. And he’s got a sense of calmness that all is going to be okay.
The season will wrap up prior to Yun becoming a father, and then he’ll have a whole other set of changes to adjust to. He says he hasn’t had too much trouble concentrating on golf with the baby coming, in fact, he says he’s been focusing even more on golf.
“I want to set a good example for him,” he says. “I followed my dreams and I did it to the best of my ability. I want him to do the same.”