Chinese Taipei’s Kevin Yu is relieved he has virtually retained his PGA TOUR card after a challenging rookie season marred by a knee injury and has vowed to come back better and stronger in 2024.
The 25-year-old enters this week’s RSM Classic, the final event of FedExCup Fall at Sea Island Golf Club in Georgia, ranked 112th, with the Top 125 securing PGA TOUR cards and exemptions into Full Field events and THE PLAYERS Championship next season.
A tied 30th finish in Bermuda last weekend gave Yu, a former amateur star from Arizona State University, some breathing space in the FedExCup Fall standings where he is 37 points ahead of 125th ranked, Carl Yuan of China. Compatriot C.T. Pan, who has one win on TOUR, is ranked 129th and needs to finish no lower than 15th place this weekend to have any chance of squeezing into the Top 125. Another Chinese player, Marty Zecheng Dou is ranked 132nd and faces a battle to retain his TOUR card as well.
“I feel okay for this week. I made the cut last week and don’t have much pressure now,” said Yu. “My main focus will be to keep a calm mind. I’m in good form and I need to have confidence. Just need to go out and execute every shot well. I look forward to a good week.”
After graduating from the Korn Ferry Tour, Yu started his new journey on the world’s elite circuit with two top 10s early on but suffered an injury during a gym session in February which required surgery to repair torn meniscus in his left knee. He came back on TOUR in late June and posted a tied seventh at the John Deere Classic before enduring a sluggish run of form with only three made cuts in his last nine starts.
“I would grade my season as a C+,” conceded Yu.
“It was tough to come back to tournament play from the injury. The recovery process involved a lot that I have never experienced before. Now, I know I need to take care of my body well. There are many things that I need to learn and adapt. It was hard when I was not playing but I kept telling myself I can make it and to always stay positive. The good thing is I recovered from an injury and have become stronger.”
He is looking forward to this week’s final test of the season at Sea Island, which will use the Seaside course and Plantation course for the first two rounds. The final two rounds will be played on the Seaside course.
“I love coming back here. It’s always windy and a bit cold, and the golf course is challenging for the players. The greens and fairways are pure this week and hopefully I can play well,” said Yu, who finished tied 54th here last year.
Canadian Adam Svensson is the defending champion in the 156-man field which includes reigning The Open Champion Brian Harman, rising star Ludvig Aberg, last week’s Butterfield Bermuda Championship winner Camilo Villegas and tournament host, Davis Love III.