San Diego State golfer Gunn Yang is not well known in the Mountain West, but it might be time to change that. Yang was the 2014 U.S. Amateur Golf champion. He took the 2015 school year off to play the Masters, U.S. Open, and British Open. Afterward, he rejoined the Aztecs.
Last week, during the Albuquerque Regionals, SDSU overcame an 11-shot deficit to Texas A&M with nine holes to play, to earn the fifth and final spot in the NCAA Championship in Eugene, Oregon on May 27-June 1.
The X-factor for San Diego State: Gunn Yang’s second 218-yard shot with a 7-iron on the par-5 first playoff hole, that holed out for an albatross to win Regionals. Yes, an albatross.
To put this into perspective for those of you who don’t golf: the odds of making a hole-in-one are estimated to be 1 in 20,000. It’s hard to do. Many golfers play their entire lives never to make one. The odds of making an albatross (3 under par on a single hole) is estimated to be 1 in 1,000,000. Others have put the odds even higher.
When golf fans witness a birdy, an ovation is heard on the next hole. When a player makes an eagle, the crowd roars. When a hole in one is struck- fans can make the ground shake.
For golf fans, an albatross garners the same effect as Elvis returning from the dead and headlining at the Wynn in Las Vegas. You can hear the roar 5 miles away. Gene Sarazon’s albatross at Augusta from decades ago is still called "the shot heard around the world."
Said SDSU head coach Ryan Donovan: "It was just gnarly."
Gunn Yang is a remarkable golfer. He will undoubtedly make his mark on the game, and while this may be the first you’ve heard of his name it will certainly not be the last.
At Texas A&M, "Yang" is now a four-letter word.