SCGA Member and UCLA Bruin freshman Jay Hwang will play in his first PGA Tour Tournament next week, when he tees it up at the Farmers Insurance Open. The nineteen-year-old earned a Sponsors Exemption after winning the 28th annual Farmers Insurance Open Amateur qualifying event, held at Torrey Pines South golf course.
“I’m very excited to play in the Farmers,” said Hwang, a former Youth on Course participant. “Qualifying for this PGA Tour event is definitely the greatest accomplishment of my career thus far.”
Prior to earning this exemption, Hwang’s claim-to-fame had been a runner-up finish at the 2009 U.S. Junior Amateur.
While only three amateur players have made the professional cut in the previous 22 years this exemption has been in place, Hwang will have somewhat of an advantage, as Torrey Pines GC is practically in his back yard.
“Torrey Pines GC is really one of my favorite golf courses of all-time,” said the Torrey Pines High School alum. “It is right next to the ocean and the views are incredible. I live about 15 minutes away and have been fortunate enough to get to play there often.”
Hwang shot a 68 in the qualifying event. He bested Tim Mickelson by two strokes to earn the victory, something that could turn into a nice conversation piece for Hwang during the tournament.
“I know Phil Mickelson will likely play in the event, and it would be nice to meet him and play with him if I can,” said Hwang when asked whom he would be most excited to play in the field with. He’s also excited for the treatment that comes along with playing in a professional event, as he has heard from friends “how awesome” it can be.
And although the college freshman is anxious, he admits that he will be “extremely nervous” when the tournament begins, he also doesn’t lack confidence.
“My goal for the tournament is to finish in the top 10,” Hwang said. “It is definitely doable since Torrey Pines is my home course. I should have a lot of people out there supporting me, so if I just fully trust myself, anything is possible.”