In one of his last tournaments of his junior year, San Jose State’s men’s golfer Sean Yu finished second in the Western Intercollegiate tournament, right behind Stanford’s Isaiah Salinda.
Yu shot a career best 64 on the first day of the three day tournament – 6 strokes under par. He now ties teammate Kevin Velo for most under-par rounds this season with 13.
“[Yu] played brilliantly. He really did,” said head coach John Kennaday. “There were 4 out of the 5 putts that I would probably hit the same way as he did then, they just didn’t go in. That’s golf.”
He shot 71 and 65 respectively on the last two days of the tournament to beat
players from teams like Pepperdine and the University of Southern California.
The tournament left Yu feeling positive about the upcoming Mountain West Men’s Golf Championship this weekend.
“I think we feel pretty good,” said Yu. “Last week proved to us that we are capable of competing against the best teams in the country.”
In his 29 rounds of golf this season, Yu averaged 71.66 strokes per round and has had four top-10 finishes.
“I started off my season hot. I played really well in the fall, [and] kind of struggled a little bit this semester,” said Yu. “I told myself ‘What did I do really good last semester? If I find myself back in that groove again like last semester, I will be pretty good. And then last week showed it.”
Last year, Yu transferred from UC Berkeley for better opportunity at SJSU’s golf program.
Velo has noticed Yu’s growth since arriving to the golf program at SJSU.
“He came in thinking he was gonna run the school a little bit,” said Velo. “He definitely didn’t. He got woken up by that a little bit pretty quick.”
Since then, Yu’s relationship with the team has improved.
Yu said he feels more connected with the team this year.
“We all care about each other here,” said Yu. “No matter what time of the day, or what time of the week, we will always ask each other how we’re doing and be on the same page.”
His interest in golf started when he was 9 years old, and living in his home country of Taiwan.
“My dad started playing before me,” said Yu. “He just one day decided to take me to the driving range and hit balls and immediately fell in love with it.”
After playing golf as a hobby for a few years, things began to change. When he was 14 years old, he began to see golf as a career.
“I came over [to the United States] to play tournaments in the summer before I decided to come here for high school,” said Yu.
The environment in the U.S. is much more competitive than Taiwan, Yu said, which he sees as a good thing.
“Everywhere you go here, you can pretty much find a golf course,” said Yu. “There’s tournaments year-round that you can sign up and play.”
Yu recommended following his example and playing as many tournaments as possible in the U.S.
“Try as best as you can.”