Men’s Golf: Chun is excited to try his hand on pro tours

Kevin Casey

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Eric Chun has little time to dwell on his past four years at NU.

He will move back to his home country of South Korea this summer to try his hand on the Korean Golf Tour and the Japan Golf Tour before returning to the United States in the fall to attempt to pass through PGA Tour Qualifying School and secure his card on the tour for 2013.

Chun said he understands that the transition isn’t easy and can be quite a culture shock.

“Nobody’s there anymore to tell you what to do, when to practice and what to practice when you’re on a pro tour,” Chun said. “I have to deal with things on my own now. I have to be diligent with trying out for tournaments and focusing on improving my golf.”

After showing some promise in his freshman year at NU in 2008-2009 with an All-Big Ten second team selection, Chun displayed his best stuff in his final college season. In 11 events, the 2012 All-Big Ten first teamer won twice, finished second three other times and finished with a scoring average of 71.38.

Although pro golf is generally a place of individual rather than team triumph, Chun has some NU alums to look to in his journey.

Luke Donald is obviously the most accomplished NU golfing alum, winning 11 times combined on the PGA and European Tours and currently holding the No. 2 spot in the world golf rankings. David Lipsky has shown promise as well, winning the Handa Faldo Cambodian Classic in March on the Asian Tour in just his second year as a pro. Chun said he feels that he can learn a lot from these examples.

“Having those guys out there gives me the chance to learn how they took advantage of their experiences,” Chun said. “It’s very helpful to know that these guys were once in my situation and to see that they are doing well gives me confidence that is not impossible out here.”

Chun also had the chance to compete at the Open Championship in 2010 where he missed the cut by just a stroke and further realized the possibility of success in his pro career.

Still, Chun is not overconfident. He still sees his game as lacking the consistency needed on the unforgiving pro level.

The PGA Tour may offer first place prize money as high as $1.7 million and have the best pension plan in sports, but pro golf incurs much financial risk. Many compete for much smaller than the huge PGA Tour purses and players must pay for their own travel expenses from week to week.

Chun said he just hopes to focus on golf and if he can establish a career as a pro he hopes to give back however he can.

“Hopefully I can help and give back to a lot of the people who helped me and go back to the places where I grew up and help them out,” Chun said. “The biggest thing for me is making a difference in other people’s lives, so if I can make a lot of money or have a big influence, I want to use that to help others.”