Success Stories

SCGA Junior Member Qualifies for U.S. Open Sectionals

SCGA Junior Member Qualifies for U.S. Open Sectionals

On May 9 at Andalusia CC, Edwin Kuang, a member of SCGA Junior, earned co-medalist honors at U.S. Open local qualifying to advance to Sectional Qualifying on June 5 at Big Canyon CC in Newport Beach. At just 15 years of age, Edwin fired a 3-under par 69 to finish as the only amateur in the 70-player field to advance to Sectionals. We checked in with Edwin after his big day.

What did it feel like to not only qualify for sectionals, but to also finish as co-medalist?
It feels great to qualify for Sectionals, especially because I missed it by just 1 stroke last year. The funny thing is I started bogey,bogey,bogey on my first three holes to then finish co-medalist. It really feels like an honor not just to play in Sectionals, but to also compete against the strong field of elite players in Locals and to beat them all! It really ups my confidence moving forward.

How are you preparing for sectionals?
I am preparing for Sectionals by playing in more tournaments such as high school CIF and a Cal Am qualifier to get me mentally sharp for competitive play. I am also really polishing up on my 150 yards and in clubs, mainly my distance wedges, and making sure I am physically ready for that 36-hole day with my workouts at Dynamic Fitness in Temecula.

The road to Erin Hills is getting closer. What is most exciting to you about the possibility of competing at the U.S. Open?
Probably the most exciting possibility is that I would see all the pros there, but also seeing where my skill level is. If I make it, I’ll be able to look for things to work on and see where and how I can elevate my game to the level the professionals are on.

What advice do you have for junior golfers who want to get to your level some day?
The advice I would give to upcoming junior golfers is to always persevere, stay disciplined and make sure you really understand the basics of the game mentally because I feel like that is what got me here today and what will help me reach a higher level. What I mean by that is really understanding how golf works. You will have your ups and downs with your swing, all golfers do, it’s a natural thing, but knowing what is wrong with your swing and being aware of it gives you an edge over other players. If you know how your swing works, if it goes wrong, you know why it goes wrong and you have a good idea on how to make small changes to correct it. It’s important to understand that in golf you will hit bad shots, but moving on after the bad shots and not letting it affect you emotionally is probably the most important advice I can give. It’s what makes me better than my peers. I feel like my attitude toward the game is just more positive. This mentality is something my mom helped me with over the years. Another super important thing is LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTS! They know what is best for you. I know from personal experience.

An Afternoon With World No. 1

It’s the opportunity of a lifetime. Meet the person in the world who’s best at what you want to do with your life. For Jasmine and Diamond Lew, two teenagers from SCGA Junior, they received that opportunity last week, when the two aspiring professional golfers spent...

An Augusta Dream

With the perfectly manicured Augusta National grass beneath his feet, SCGA Junior member Evan Chien graced the same lush fairways as Woods, Nicklaus and Palmer with adolescent exuberance. Evan had found heaven on earth. His introduction to life inside the ropes came...

The Reluctant Dreamer

Some are afforded once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Others earn them. A few years back, Phillip Ortiz was diagnosed with a brain tumor and the forecast was not bright. That’s when Make-A-Wish Foundation reached out to the Ortiz family in hopes of bringing some...

On A Mission To Serve

Some of you may remember one of our junior scholars with a big dream. Featured as an SCGA Hero in the Jul./Aug. 2012 issue of FORE magazine, we are thrilled to say Kenny Punyasavatsut is the same go-getter he’s always been, working diligently to achieve his dreams and...

Ol’ Reliable

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr. If we had the ability to clone an ideal volunteer, Giovanni Sandoval’s DNA would be requested for study. His willingness to lend a hand separates himself from...

Challenge Accepted!

One day while practicing, SCGA Junior member Sal Hinojosa was closely watched by an influential member of his community – the Mayor of Pico Rivera. After a minute of observation, Mayor David Armenta become enamored by 15-year-old Sal and his skills on the course, who...

A Coach Who’s Worn A Few Different Hats

Civil Rights activist, ground-breaking speed skater, Olympics-worthy track star, Vietnam Veteran and Wall Street trader are just a few of the bullet points on this man’s resume. Trevor Banton, SCGA Junior’s newest coach in its instruction program, has been around the...

Family Tradition

For the second year in a row, a member of the Chien family will be headed to the mecca of golf for the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship. Following in his sister Leigh’s footsteps, Evan will be striding around Augusta National this April after qualifying for the...

Jamie Harada: A Shooting Star

SCGA Junior Scholar Jamie Harada of Costa Mesa, Calif., placed second in this year’s L.A. City Women’s Championship at Rancho Park GC. With its highly competitive field, the tournament proved to be an impressive feat for the young player, proving college golf has...