Eric Yun came full circle at the UNIQLO / Adam Scott Junior Championship.
As a child, the Bay Area native was more interested in shredding waves than sinking putts. In fact, it took the prodding of his dad to even get Eric to the driving range while on a family vacation to Hawaii in 2013. Seven years old at the time, Eric merely viewed golf as something to kill time before getting back in the ocean.
That being said, the driving range session did stoke some interest in golf, though it wasn't quite enough to get Eric hooked. That happened a few weeks later when he watched The Masters with his brother Jeremy.
One of the greatest spectacles in sports, The Masters has inspired generations of kids to take up the game. For both Eric and Jeremy, their moment came when they watched Adam Scott defeat Angel Cabrera in the 2013 playoff. Between the tension of the playoff and Scott's unforgettable celebration, the Yun brothers were not only all in on golf, but now Scott's biggest fans.
Before the dust could settle on Scott's awards ceremony, the brothers were already plotting their first trip to the course. From there, they spent months practicing the game, eventually following in Scott's footsteps and competing in junior golf tournaments. Inspired by Scott's win at The Masters, Eric made it his goal to compete in the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club.
Just a few years after picking up the game, Eric's dream came true in 2017 when he beat out hundreds of other juniors to secure a spot in the national finals. Much like his favorite golfer, Eric now had the opportunity to compete on the hallowed grounds of Augusta National.
Though making the finals was an achievement in itself, Eric quickly set his sights on winning it all. All that stood in his way were nine other juniors in the Boys 10-11 age group and the nerves that came with competing at such an iconic venue.
That was probably the biggest crowd I've ever played in front of to this day. I was really nervous being 10 and change.
Despite struggling in the driving portion, Eric showed strong resolve as he climbed up the standings with the fifth most points in the chipping portion and the second most points in the putting competition. He ultimately finished sixth in the final.
Even though Eric didn't win it all, the experience remains something he'll never forget, especially getting the chance to recreate a putt his idol once drained for birdie on No. 18 to force the playoff.
If recreating that putt felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity, then meeting his idol at the UNIQLO / Adam Scott Junior Championship was coming full circle.
Meeting Adam was epic. I was honestly just trying to stay in the present and appreciate how incredible the moment was. In a way, it's very much how I play and enjoy the game.
Eric played steady golf throughout the tournament, opening with back-to-back rounds of 1-under-par 71 before closing with a 1-over-par 73 for a tournament total of 1-under-par 215 and an eighth place finish. Though it wasn't the result Eric wanted, nothing could take away from meeting Adam.
It meant the world that Adam came out to support us. It's a wonderful reminder that we are all part of a much larger family in the game of golf.