Golfer never gave up on his dream

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Golfer never gave up on his dream


John Huh, a relatively unknown golfer on the PGA Tour, made headlines in major sports papers earlier this week after winning the Mayakoba Golf Classic.

Huh has been at the center of attention for his success on the course, but his life story of overcoming an adverse environment and pursuing his dream has also stolen the spotlight.

The golfer had been evaluated by the Korea Golf Tour Corporation as a player who struggled in the first round of every tournament. From 2009-11, Huh played in various golf tournaments in Korea but never got off to a good start.

His only impressive showing was at the Shinhan Donghae Open where he won the grand prize after beating one of Korea’s best golfers, K. J. Choi.

Huh generally struggled during his tournaments in Korea. His inexperience often crept up on him, as other golfers had played on the courses numerous times before the tournament. Huh, dealing with financial difficulties off the Tour, was unable to spend much time practicing his swing.

The Korean-American was born in New York in 1990 but moved to Korea when he was two, and started learning how to grip a golf club when he was still in elementary school.

His life took a sudden turn when his father’s businesses collapsed in 2002. The family immediately moved back to New York.

Even when the odds were against him and life wasn’t easy, Huh never gave up on golf and kept honing his skills.

The golfer started to play in Korean competitions from 2009. He didn’t have any relatives in Korea, so he stayed at his mother’s friend’s house in northern Seoul, traveling two hours to Bundang in Gyeonggi to practice.

“People gave me strange stares when I boarded the subway with my golf bag,” Huh said. “But I had no reason to feel ashamed because I was going to work.”

After winning his first event, Huh was confident it was not a fluke. “This is just the beginning,” he said.


By Lee Ho-jeong, Sung Hu-jun [ojlee82@joongang.co.kr]

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