Shows No Fear In Reaching Second Round
Francisco - Don't be fooled by
his size. David Chung
might be junior golf's version
of Spudd Webb,
but the way he is playing this week at The Olympic Club, he is looking
more like Shaq.
|The diminutive David Chung stayed alive with
a 5-and-4 first-round victory Wednesday at the U.S. Junior. (John
5-foot-5, 105-pound 14-year-old from Fayetteville, N.C., with the bucket
hat barely towers over his golf bag and his driver extends up near his
mouth, but with a textbook swing and guile beyond his years, Chung finds
himself in the second round of match play at 57th U.S. Junior Amateur.
bad for someone who struggled to break 90 four years ago in Junior Amateur
sectional qualifying. As a 10 year old, Chung
posted rounds of 88-88 in 2001.
just did it for experience," says Chung,
who defeated 17-year-old Greg Forest of Palm City, Fla.,
5 and 4, on Wednesday to reach the round of 32.
being consistently out-driven by his taller and much-bigger opponent,
shot the equivalent of even par over 14 holes. He never trailed in the
match and he closed Forest
out at the 14th hole by ripping a 5-iron approach from 178 yards to
within three feet of the hole.
mostly mechanics," Chung
says of his game. "I've been working with Kevin
down at Champions Gate [in Orlando,
He worked with Ty Tryon
and he works with [current PGA
Tour pro] Hank Kuehne. I get down
there every two to three months, but I send him tapes of my swing."
this year, Chung
struggled to reach long par 4s in regulation. That's one way to develop
a strong short game because he constantly had to get up and down to
save par. Even this week at Olympic, Chung
is relying on his deft touch around
the greens. For instance, at the 464-yard, uphill 17th hole, Chung hit
driver/3-wood and still came up short of the green in both days of stroke-play
qualifying. He averages around 250 yards off the tee with his driver.
just have to get it up and down and take advantage of the short holes,"
"I think [my short game] will be my strength out here. It's hard to
hold the greens here with 4- and 5-irons."
far as intimidation goes, Chung
doesn't seem fazed by the older
players in the field, even though he is the youngest left and one of
two 14 year olds to reach the second round (Steven An of Korea is the
trying to get experience against older kids," said Chung.
"I'm playing a lot of AJGAs (American Junior Golf Association) and other
tournaments in my home state with older kids this year."
fall, he'll find himself enrolled with plenty of older kids when he
takes three classes at a local junior college in Fayetteville.
who will enter the ninth grade, is currently home-schooled, but he was
able to pass entrance exams to take English, Spanish and biology classes
at Fayetteville Technical
was just not enough education," Chung
said of the reason he decided
not to go to the local junior high in his area. "My mom teaches me.
We take a special test every year. It's called the Iowa Test. I've scored
99 percent. I normally get 95 to 100 on the tests. We get the textbooks
from Bob Jones
said he might re-enter high school
next fall, but likely won't play on the golf team. He would prefer to
focus solely on his game by playing various tournaments.
this week, he has one major goal.
just want to get to the quarters," said Chung.
"That way I'm exempt for next year."
is a USGA staff writer.
E-mail him with comments or questions at email@example.com.