of China watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during the third round of the Simmons Bank Open for the Snedeker Foundation at The Grove on September 16, 2023 in College Grove, Tennessee. (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)

Up-and-coming Chinese golfer Yuxin Lin doesn’t need to look too far ahead for inspiration as he makes his first PGA TOUR start outside of the majors at the Shriners Children’s Open in TPC Summerlin in Vegas starting on Thursday.

The 22-year-old lefthander turned professional in June after finishing 10th in the final 2023 PGA TOUR University ranking, earning conditional status on the Korn Ferry Tour where he featured in nine tournaments that provided valuable experiences in his new golf journey.

A two-time Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship winner, Lin is excited at the prospect of teeing up against the stars from the PGA TOUR in the third FedExCup Fall event this week and regardless of how he finishes, he knows the grind will continue as he chases a dream card on the PGA TOUR.

“I was able to transition to my first season on Tour, and it is a big transition,” said Lin, who graduated from University of Florida. “It is definitely a learning experience. Played some good golf and bad golf but it is always a process. Just keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully it’ll pay off.”

Amongst Lin’s peers from the graduating class of 2023 is Sweden’s Ludvig Aberg, who ranked No. 1 to earn a PGA TOUR card. Aberg, 23, has since taken the world of golf by storm where his strong showings include a first victory on the DP World Tour last month, a successful Ryder Cup debut in Rome where he contributed two points in Team Europe’s victory over the United States, and a runner-up finish at last week’s Sanderson Farms Championship.

Additionally, this week’s defending champion, Tom Kim of Korea, is already two-time PGA TOUR winner at the age of 21, offering hope to Lin that the young guns are capable of stamping their mark in the game.

Lin, however, is prepared to bide his time.

“I’m really honored to be out here competing (this week). I think it’s a great opportunity . I just need to stick to my game plan and see what happens by the end of the week. The game is feeling pretty good honestly, been feeling confident. I feel comfortable out here. I think the most important thing out here is to stick to my game plan and shoot some low scores. Obviously try to do my best and see what happens,” said Lin, who earned his spot in the Shriners Children’s Open through his victory in the Southern Highlands Collegiate in March.

Lin stood out as a top prospect for Asian golf following his two wins at the 2017 and 2019 Asia-Amateur Pacific Championship, which granted exemptions into the Masters Tournament where he missed the cut in 2018 and 2020. He qualified for The Open Championship in 2021, finishing tied 74th at Royal St George’s.

The young Chinese will be exempt into Stage Two of the PGA TOUR Qualifying School presented by Korn Ferry next month where he hopes to progress into the Final Stage which offers the leading five players and ties PGA TOUR cards for the 2024 season.

“I’m kind of nervous and excited for it,” said Lin about Q-school. “Short term, I’ll just try to get my TOUR card and long term will be to try to win out here.”

Lin’s countrymen Marty Zecheng Dou and Carl Yuan, who are both fighting for their PGA TOUR cards in FedExCup Fall, are also in the field this week. Yuan finished tied sixth at the Sanderson Farms Championship on Sunday for his career first top-10 on the PGA TOUR.

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