For the 17-year-old from Chinese Taipei, his selection was another big step in the right direction in his golf journey which he hopes the final destination will be the PGA TOUR.
Lin is amongst five Asian junior golfers who will feature in the two-day Junior Presidents Cup on December 8-9, which serves as a prelude to the Presidents Cup at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, Australia.
“When I saw my name on the list, it was an amazing feeling,” said Lin. “It made everything that I have done all the more worthwhile. It will be a great opportunity to learn and play against some of the best junior golfers in the world. I’m also hoping to learn by watching the top players in the Presidents Cup. It’s a dream come true.”
Lin’s participation in the Junior President Cup coincides with his mentor C.T. Pan’s debut appearance in the Presidents Cup, which pits an Ernie Els-led International Team against a United States Team led by playing captain Tiger Woods at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
The youngster is a product of Pan’s own development programme, which he started some three years ago as a way of giving back to the game. In April, Pan claimed his first PGA TOUR title and has since inspired many more youngsters like Lin to follow in his footsteps.
“C.T. is my idol. Since I was a child, he’s the best amateur player in Chinese Taipei,” said Lin. “I knew he also studied at the University of Washington and I just thought ‘wow … I really want to study there too someday.’”
Lin enjoyed his big break by earning the right to play in Pan’s inaugural C.T. Pan Junior Championship in Texas in April. After finishing T21, he received another invitation to play in the Thunderbird International Junior a month later and finished a creditable T11. Both results caught the attention of recruiters which subsequently led to Lin being offered a place in the University of Washington next year.
“I reached my goal as I was offered a place,” said Lin. “Since I was a child, C.T. has been really nice, really humble and he has a great attitude which I think is the most important thing for golf players.
“Due to his AJGA event, I received the opportunity to go to America and compete over there. And because of that opportunity, I received a lot of emails from college coaches and it has paved the way for me to the U.S.”
Before meeting Pan, Lin was thinking of going through the Asian Tour route to realise his professional aspirations. “I didn’t think I would be going to study in the U.S. In Taipei, many players will tell you that if you practice hard, you can turn professional after high school and I was thinking of taking that route at home. But after meeting C.T., he showed us a different idea. I want to follow C.T.’s footsteps and become a PGA TOUR player.”
Lin learned the game when he was five due to his father’s influence. As he became better at it, he started thinking about making golf his career. Then, he met Pan and has benefited immensely through Pan’s annual clinic and friendship.
“I got to know C.T. through his first camp some three years ago. He shares his experience with the junior players here and it is important I learn from him as he has a great attitude. No matter how good you are, if you don’t have a great attitude, nobody will think you’re a great player.
“My dream is to improve my golf skills and then compete with C.T. on the PGA TOUR,” said Lin. ”Now that I’m in the Junior Presidents Cup, I also want to play in the real Presidents Cup in the near future.”