Player to watch at U.S. Amateur: Cheng-Tsung Pan
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World Amateur Golf Ranking: 1
Hometown: Miaoli, Taiwan
School: Junior, Washington
2013 Summer: T-45 U.S. Open
Why he’s dangerous: Well, he did play at the U.S. Open – his only tournament of the summer – and contended during the second round.
He likes how the U.S. Golf Association setups their courses. He finished as a quarterfinalist in 2012 and 2007 at the Amateur and also qualified for the 2011 U.S. Open, but missed the cut.
“Usually USGA events are really hard,” Pan said. “The greens are firm and fast especially at U.S. Opens, but I sometimes feel that at USGA events, it’s about making pars and making sure you game is consistent. Basically, how good is your bad shot.”
He’s pretty good at staying consistent.
This is the only amateur tournament of the summer for Pan. He went home to Taiwan right after the U.S. Open to weight train. Not only did he weight train, but he also gained 15 pounds and worked through some swing changes.
“I wanted to become more efficient in my ball striking and I wanted to hit it further,” he said.
He’s trying to hone his game for the next level. When he was at the U.S. Open, Pan saw great player after great player. He left learning a lot about his game and what he needed to work on.
Even though this is his first tournament his gaining weight and changing his swing, Pan is more excited than nervous about competing at The Country Club.
“Every time on my first tee shot, I’m excited to see my game and I how I will score,” Pan said.
The No. 1-ranked amateur is looking to capture the Mark H. McCormack Medal for the first time. He would be the second consecutive Washington Huskie to secure the honor (Chris Williams, 2012).
“Being world No. 1 is my goal and I want to be in that position as long as I can, but in the meantime I have to do the little things right to keep my position, and that is what I’m focused on.
“It might add some pressure (to win the medal), but if I do the little things right, my score will be good and I won’t worry about anything else but my game.”