Orlando Senior Receives Green Jacket for Win
One of the greatest things about being a student at the Professional Golfers Career College is all of the golf you get to play, and in some cases, have to play. Playing the game is part of the curriculum just as much as learning about the history of our beloved sport, or the business of running a tournament. Golf is what we live and breathe, but what use is all that studying if you don’t get out on the greens and remember why you wanted a career in golf in the first place?! To that end, one of the best times of the semester, tournament season, is upon us again.
Tournament season marks the close of the semester and, as in the case of Heeil Yang, a senior at PGCC Orlando, it also marks the weeks just before commencement when seniors have the luxury of playing their last few competitions at school before entering the golf world professionally. Qualifiers lead up to the competitions and determine who will participate in the International Cup and the President’s Cup, and the Class Challenge. Participation in at least one of these competitions is mandatory, because students earn credit for PE 142: Tournament Golf; a class that always tops the “favorites” list.
The Semester Tournament, the final tournament of the season, wraps up the day before graduation and is a particularly fun one in Orlando because the victor is awarded a green jacket, just like the Masters, and their name is engraved on a plaque that visitors to the campus can see. A 36-hole, stroke-play style of tournament, with 18 holes played on both day one and two, one of the most challenging facets of this competition is the fact that the size of the field is the entire student body. Though the tournament is flighted, and Yang was competing in the “Champions” bracket, this essentially means that he beat out a field of 65 players to capture his title; a remarkable accomplishment for any golfer.
Over the summer, Heeil, who hails from South Korea, accepted the traditional green jacket from PGCC Orlando’s Director of Placement, Tony Austin, and Director of Golf, Roger Masterson. Posting a 74 on day 1 and 69 day 2 Yang won the championship as a junior at the Reunion Resort, a Jack Nicklaus design, just outside of Orlando. After receiving the green jacket he shared, “This is truly an honor.” Yang continued, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and to wear the green jacket, well, it means a lot to me.”
Spending 16 months learning about golf and playing golf can leave anyone reluctant to leave, as he can attest. “I want to stay here and play, who doesn’t?” Yang joked. The jury is still out on whether he will take home a second consecutive victory after playing in the fall tournament, but with the numbers he put up in summer, it looks like he’s the one to beat. After graduation, Yang will attempt to qualify for the Web.com tour, and if he makes it, we’re sure that will just be the start of the road to yet another elusive green jacket.