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.