Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Looking Ahead, Part 4: The Hannah Yun Saga

Dave Andrews covers the latest twist in the Hannah Yun saga. But he writes as if this is the 1st time Yun has left the University of Florida program. Regular readers of Golfweek, Waggle Room, Seoul Sisters.com, and this little ol' blog have heard it all before. This time, however, Yun has an underwhelming 2008 Futures Tour performance under her belt to go with a disappointing fall on the NCAA in which she dropped to #218 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index (even Cheyenne Woods is #98!).

With the Futures Tour's Q-School complete, the ball is now in their court:

Her results on the Duramed Futures Tour have guaranteed her playing status for the 2009 season.

In another surprising move, Hannah filed a formal request with the tour to be allowed to play as a professional next year. She will need a special exemption for that to happen because she will not turn 17 until April 2009 and does not meet the tour's minimum age requirement.

If the decision were up to me, I would actually be inclined to accept her request. She's certainly burned her bridges at Florida--particularly with the timing of her announcement and departure--and most likely in the entire NCAA. Depending on when her birthday falls in April, we're only talking about letting her play 1-5 events as a pro prematurely. Despite her current slump, she could well be the next Vicky Hurst. She's got nothing else on her calendar next March. Why not give her a shot at her dream and a dose of reality all at once?

Even if she turns out to be the next Esther Choe instead, she's young enough to devote a few years to toiling in the minor leagues and still return to college roughly the same age as other 2nd-semester sophomores if her efforts aren't (literally) paying off. In fact, she could try playing in Korea, Japan, and/or Europe after the Futures Tour. If she can handle the grind and the pressure of playing golf for a living, she could garner the kinds of international experiences study-abroad program officers only dream of for their students. What's wrong with returning to college in your mid-20s, anyway, particularly if you can pay your way?

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