An all smiles despite MC at Bay Hill

Byeong-Hun An competed this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Byeong-Hun “Ben” An missed his first PGA Tour cut this week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, but it was tough to tell from the expression on his face.

An, 18, sported one of those big grins that elderly relatives can’t help but to pinch. Despite shooting 77-73, An was more interested in talking about the positives from the week. Like arranging a practice round tee time with K.J. Choi at Augusta National.

“I looked up to him when I was younger,” An said. “I rooted for him the year he finished T-3 (in 2004).”

Like meeting Arnold Palmer during a practice round. The King was heading out for a round with friends, but he paused to meet a fellow U.S. Amateur champion, chatting with An and posing for pictures.

“I was like, ‘Did I really just talk to him?’ “ An said, his smile growing wider.

Like learning first-hand how his playing partner, Tour rookie Josh Teater, at times attacked and at others managed his way around the golf course.

“I could see the difference between the pro and amateur game,” An said.

And An knows he’ll have other chances, first at the Masters in two weeks, and then at the Memorial, the AT&T National, and the Verizon Heritage via sponsor’s exemptions, and at the British Open, where he qualified.

That’s plenty of reason for An to smile.

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