More ‘positive’ Yun ready to tackle first Tour season

It seems that Tacoma golfer Andrew Yun’s whole life has been set up to pursue a professional tour.

After finishing up his ninth-grade season at Bellarmine Prep, Yun and his family moved to Chandler, Arizona, so he could play year-round in a warmer climate.

Yun ended up getting a scholarship to Stanford, and was the Pac-12 champion in 2012.

And after capturing the final significant amateur title of his career — the Sahalee Players Championship — in the summer of 2013, Yun decided to turn professional.

Then — like it does for many — the sport left him with more questions than answers.

With cash flow dwindling, Yun received a phone call from a former major champion who gave him such sound advice, it changed the young golfer’s outlook dramatically.

After getting through three stages of Tour qualifying last winter, Yun is a full-fledged member of that tour, just one step away from the PGA Tour. He ranks 19th on the money list after the Tour opened with five tournaments in Central and South America.

“It has been a dream come true,” Yun said. “The ultimate dream is to play on the PGA Tour. This is the start of it. I am just excited to travel, excited to play — and excited for everything that comes along with it.”

A year ago, Yun was left to try for Monday qualifying for Tour tournaments — with no success. He was spending more money than he was making, and he contacted longtime instructor Joe Thiel about what to do.

Last May, Yun received a phone call from 1981 British Open winner Bill Rogers, who now lives in San Antonio.

Rogers’ advice was simple: No matter what you do in golf, learn and grow from each positive and negative experience.

“After that conversation, I had more of a mental breakthrough,” Yun said. “My game had not been great, but it was close. I felt like a lot of my issues stemmed from the negative thoughts I was having on the course.

“After that, I took ownership of my game a little bit more — realizing what my mistakes were and making an effort to change my habits.”

Yun said he changed his on-course perspective from “neutral to positive.”

“That in itself was a lot of hard work — harder than making a swing change,” Yun said. “In golf, one, two shots go a long way. Over the course of a round, if you turn bad things into a positive, it changes the natural flow of your game.”

Two months later, Yun took home his first professional win at the Willow Creek Open on the eGolf Professional Tour — a mini-tour that predominantly holds events in the South.

And last December, Yun completed a remarkable run through three qualifying stages by finishing tied for 16th in the finals of the Tour Qualifying School at the PGA National Resort Copperhead Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Yun finished the six-round tournament at 11-under 418 — with all of his daily scores being under par.

“After that, I was so tired — I just wanted to go to sleep,” Yun said. “I did not want to touch a golf club for a week.”

When he did wake up, he was a Tour member.