Gunn misfires out in Torrey Pines fog

by Rafael Avitabile, Staff Writer

Former San Diego State Aztec Gunn Yang missed the weekend cut at the 2015 Farmers Insurance Open on Friday. Gunn was awarded a sponsor exemption for the tournament after winning the 2014 U.S. Amateur in August. It was his first event on the PGA Tour.

Although Yang was unable to advance to weekend play, there were many positives that came from his 36 holes at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla.

Yang opened the tournament with an even-par 72 on the 7,698-yard South Course. After a bogey on the long par-4 14th brought him to 3 over on the day, Yang parred 15 and reeled off three consecutive birdies on the 16th, 17th and 18th holes to get back to even par. The first-round scoring average on the South Course was 73.526.

Farmers Insurance Open competitors alternate between the North and South Courses on Thursday and Friday and, if they make the cut, stick to the South Course through the weekend. The South Course played host to the 2008 U.S. Open and will host the second major of the year again in 2021.

Yang teed off at the 10th hole of the easier 7,052-yard North Course on Friday, but was unable to move up the leaderboard. Yang played the back nine to par with two bogeys and two birdies, but couldn’t get in the red on the front nine. Bogeys on the par-4 4th and 8th holes brought him to 2 over for the tournament, and Yang missed the 1-under weekend cut by three strokes.

“He looked the part,” SDSU head coach Ryan Donovan said. “I was very impressed by his finish on the South with birdies on 16,17 and 18.”

Yang was solid off of the tee with an average driving distance of 296.1 yards, about 10 yards further than the field average, and found the fairway on 53.57 of drivable holes. He also found greens in regulation at a 63.89-percent rate, and averaged 1.826 putts per green in regulation.

“It’s really tough,” Yang said during the week leading up to the tournament. “I’ve never played Torrey Pines in this kind of shape and I’ve never seen the rough this thick before.”

Yang plans to compete in six more PGA Tour events. His Amateur Championship victory earned him nods in The Masters, the U.S. Open, and the British Open at St. Andrews. The three regular Tour events on Yang’s schedule are the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the RBC Heritage Classic, and the Crowne Plaza Invitational.