Gilchrist student Chun An Yu joined some elite company Thursday.
Yu, a student at the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy in Florida, will have his name etched on the Milt Woodard Champions Trophy alongside PGA TOUR stars Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan and Jim Furyk after claiming the 98th Western Junior Championship in a playoff Thursday.
A 2-under 68 helped Yu force a playoff with Carl Yuan, the No. 19 ranked in the U.S. according to Junior Golf Scoreboard, at even par after the completion of 72 holes. On the first extra hole, Yu clinched the title with a par following rounds of 71-72-69-68 at Riverside Golf Club in North Riverside, Illinois.
Yu, of Taiwan and who is more affectionately known as Kevin, is just 16 years old and despite being somewhat of unknown junior on the world stage, is no stranger to big events. Yu will play the 2016 Australian Masters by way of winning the Aaron Baddeley International Junior Championship – China and has represented his home country of Taiwan in many international events.
By way of winning the Western Junior, Yu also received an exemption into the Western Amateur in August, which also has its own list of high-profile winners including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Curtis Strange, Ben Crenshaw and many more.
The playoff was the first since the championship switched from match play to stroke play in 1999. The Western Junior is the oldest national junior tournament in the United States and draws top junior players from all over the world. The tournament has been a testing ground for stars of the future, such as current PGA TOUR stars Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler, and veterans Fred Couples, Craig Stadler and Corey Pavin.