Alrik Pan: Golf Prodigy
138 tournaments played, 4,025 total game points and ranked 87th for the Toyota Tour Cup ä¸€ freshman Alrik Pan has no limits.
At 14-years-old, Pan was picked to participate and represent team U.S.A. at the Junior Evian Championships in France. He competed in a four man team consisting of two boys and two girls.
Pan fell in love after picking up his first golf club at age three. Choosing golf over basketball, Pan started practicing swing control, distance control, putting, chipping and started testing out new clubs. He was dedicated to his sport, practicing every Sunday with his father.
â€śMy dad inspired me to start playing golf. When I was three, he gave me a club so I could swing, but I started competing in tournaments at age 10. Iâ€™m hoping to go professional with golf because Iâ€™m good at it and I can make millions with my skill,â€ť Pan said.
After training for seven years, Pan started playing tournaments and making a name for himself on multiple golfing websites such as Golfweek, Bluegolf and Golfscoreboard, which featured his stats. In 2011, he competed in 52 tournaments and placed top five in 73 percent of the games.
Pan played 73 tournaments over the course of 2013-2014 and ranked top 5 for 71 percent of his games. Other major tournaments Pan played were the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Tournament, in which he placed first, the Los Angeles City Junior Golf tournament and the Los Angeles County tournament.
Pan is ranked third in the class of 2019 for boys and 150th for male junior golfers 18 and under in the country.
Pan was drafted to play in the Junior Evian tournament after winning the AJGA polo ranked game. He was also scouted by the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour (LPGA), which hosted the 2015 Junior Evian Championships.
For this year’s Junior Evian competition, 18 countries went to compete, including first-time competitor Korea, which won the tournament this year.
In previous years, team USA beat team France two years in a row and won the Evianâ€™s three years in a row. This year, team USA placed second with a score of 435, losing the first place title to team Korea, which scored 428.
Pan finished the first round with a score of 74 and the second round with a score of 76, ending with a final score of 150 and placing 12th place overall.
â€śMy score wasnâ€™t the best and I feel like I let my team down. I need to work more on my mental game because I gave up on the 15th hole in the second round. I wasnâ€™t thinking strong enough and I wasnâ€™t trying hard enough,â€ś Pan said. â€śAt the tournament I was able to play on the different courses and I got to meet a lot of new friends. Going to France was a really great experience for me.â€ť
By Albert Law, Sports editor
Photo by Sajid Iqbal