YOUNGSTER Ervin Chang has shown excellent commitment in his studies and golf.
The 17-year-old, a student at the Real International School, is in the midst of preparing for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examinations in November. But that has not stopped him from giving his best on the golf course.
Ervin took a break from school and took part in two competitions in the United States. His first was the Future Champions Golf International Junior Open (formerly San Diego Junior Masters) and the World Stars of Junior Golf (formerly Taylormade World Junior Masters).
It was an impressive outing as Ervin finished a credible 16th in the Future Champions Golf International Junior Open. He returned with a three round score of 220 (72-71-77).
But Ervin was in fine form in the World Stars of Junior Golf championships. Playing in the boys 17-18 age group, the lanky Ervin shot an impressive 67 on the opening day. On the second day, he had a round of 72 but on the third round he could only manage a 73.
With a three round score of 211, Ervin clinched the title by a massive five strokes. He admitted he was happy to have won the prestigious title in a competitive field.
“There were 36 participants in the age group. On the first and second day, everything went well and I had a good score. On the third day, there was a strong wind and it affected my game. But I managed to hold on and became the champion,’’ said Ervin.
This season, Ervin, who trains under Shane Gillespie of PGA Tour Academy and CM Chong of True Golf Academy, played in selected competitions. Among the championships were the CCM-Rahman Putra championship, a leg of the Asian Development Tour, and the 100 Plus Malaysian Junior Open.
In the CCM-Rahman Putra championship, Ervin, playing in a professional field, was nominated as the best amateur and finished in the eighth spot with a four round score of 279 (70-69-72-68).
In the 100 Plus Malaysian Junior Open, Ervin shot rounds of 74-76-70 to finish in the third spot.
Ervin said the exposure gained in the ADT was valuable as it gave him opportunities to learn from the professionals.
“I consider myself lucky as the seasoned professionals treated me well and gave useful tips,’’ Ervin said.
His impressive performances in international tournaments had earned him a place in the Malaysian team for the South East Asian Golf Championship (Putra Cup) in Thailand from Sept 13 to 18. Other players in the team are Daeng Abdul Rahman, Galven Green and Amir Nazrin.
Ervin said he looked forward to the Putra Cup and would like to help Malaysia do well.
After the Putra Cup, Ervin will head to Hong Kong for the Asia-Pacific Amateur Golf Championship (APAGC) in Hong Kong between Oct 1 and 4. He considers the APAGC as an important competition for the season.
The champion will get invited to play in the US Masters 2016 and the British Amateur Open.
Although Ervin’s ambition is to be a professional golfer, he does not want to neglect his studies.
“I want to excel in my studies as well. I am devoting equal time for golf and studies. I have been getting good scores in my studies also. After my IGCSE examinations, I will continue my studies and complete a degree programme,’’ said Ervin.