US Amateur champion Gunn Yang hopes the experience of competing in the Farmers Insurance Open will prepare him for his maiden Masters, US Open and Open Championship campaigns.
The 21-year-old became the second South Korean to win the title when he beat Canadian Corey Conners in the final of the US Amateur at Atlanta Athletic Club last year.
The San Diego State student, who has taken a year’s leave of absence while he focuses on his golf career, has had several invites to play in professional events and has exemption for the year’s first three majors, on the condition that he remains an amateur.
"I'm just trying to play the best golf I can, because this is the first PGA Tour event for me so I'm a little bit nervous," Yang said before this week’s tournament at Torrey Pines.
"Especially in this area (media interviews), it's not a familiar area, so just trying to get used to the atmosphere and just trying and prepare for the Masters."
Late last year, he finished in fourth place at the New South Wales Open but this week’s event – which boasts 19 of the top 50 players in the world, will be a marked step up for Yang.
"It's really tough. I've never played Torrey Pines in this kind of good shape and also never seen the rough this thick before," he said.
"My game has been improving. I've been putting pretty well. I played with Adam Scott in the Japan Open and that's when I realised that I need to really work on my long game consistency wise. I've been doing that pretty well.
"If I'm improving and if I can keep up with these big boys, then maybe I can turn pro after that but I want to get the degree first."