For rising Junior Golfer, Paul Chang, the last few months have been a massive boost to his future golf career. Earlier this spring, he was actively participating on Virginia’s club golf team, hoping to catch the eye of the Cavalier coaching staff. Although golf has been a passion for Chang since he was nine years old, he only considered it a hobby until now.
After an incredible showing participating in the premier amateur golf championship, he was finally offered a spot on the Cavalier varsity team. In his first match alone, Chang made a real impact on the team that he had only wished to get a mere spot on. It wasn’t until recently that he began striving for more, and proving himself as a rising star. It wasn’t until he moved from China to England, in order to attend Oakham School, that Chang began to play in tournaments. Yet, golf was still nothing more than a fun pastime for him.
Chang decided to utilize a “gap year” between high school and university to better navigate his future plans. During this time, he participated in several tournaments, but even then, he had no interest in playing college golf. He decided on Virginia for many other reasons, that of which appeal to so many other aspiring students as well. With his start at Virginia, Chang decided to reach out to golf coach Bowen Sargent. However, Chang was met with a disappointing reality. Sargent denied him a spot on the team due to obligations to other recruited students. Sargent still urged him to play on the club team, which he did for the next two years. This fueled his desire to improve his game, and work towards a new goal.
Chang and his partner qualified for the 2023 USGA Amateur Four-Ball last year, and only a few months ago, he qualified for the U.S. Amateur Championship. He shot a shining 64 in the opening round and turned heads in awe of his performance. Sargent, who was there scouting a potential high school recruit, found Chang’s performance too shocking to overlook. With his skills proudly displayed, Sargent finally rewarded Chang with a spot on the team for their upcoming season.
It did not take long for Chang to make an impact as a Cavalier. He propelled Virginia to a fourth-place finish; and a tenth-place individual finish for Chang in his first college event. The junior currently holds the 4,042nd position in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Chang’s new-found success is proof that talent does exists beyond the traditional college recruiting process. Representing the Cavalier way, Chang is an inspiration to many young golfers, proving there is no one way to success. He has defied the odds in every step of his career, and has earned the respect his persistence and skill deserve.
Here at the Hub, we can’t wait to see how Paul Chang improves his game, and continues to smash records along the way!
Source: Stephen O’Dea for The Cavalier Daily
– Photo Credit: Virginia Athletics –