PETALING JAYA: National No. 1 amateur golfer Ervin Chang has been forced to defer his plan to turn professional till the end of next year – no thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 21-year-old, who just finished his sports management degree, is staying put in the United States to pursue his Masters while continuing to represent Liberty University for another season.
Ervin is one of the many final year students being granted an extra year of eligibility by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) because of the Covid-19 cancellations.
That’s an offer that he gladly accepted, considering there will be hardly any opportunities available to earn playing privileges on the professional Tours in these tough periods.
All the major professional circuits around the globe such as the Korn Ferry Tour (US development tour for PGA Tour), Asian Tour and European Tour are not expected to conduct qualifying schools.
“As there are not too many options for me, I’ll be staying in college for another year. Then, I’ll probably go pro at the end of 2021,” said Ervin, who competed at the Jakarta Asian Games and the Philippines SEA Games.
“It’s frustrating that the season was cut short by the pandemic, that’s not the way I wanted it to end.
“Fortunately, the NCAA granted us an extra year and I took it. I am very grateful for that. Another year of collegiate golf means more opportunities for me to improve myself and get better.”
Ervin has been one of the key members of the Liberty University which competes in the NCAA Division 1.
In his four-year collegiate golf career, he notched an impressive 18 top-10 finishes, highlighted by a victory at the Sea Best Invitational in Florida in 2018.
To make the victory sweeter, the feat was achieved at his favourite course, the renowned TPC Sawgrass in Florida, known for hosting the annual US PGA Players’ Championship.
With an extra year in his hand, Ervin will be aiming to help his team earn a second straight appearance in the prestigious NCAA Division 1 National Championship.
The team made it to the pinnacle of the US collegiate golf last year, but failed to perform well.
“Earning another trip for the team and myself to the National Championship is definitely one of my goals,” said Ervin.
“I’m also hoping I can win one more collegiate event. It’s something I have to work very hard for, that’s for sure.”
Academically, Ervin can certainly be proud of himself too as he graduated with flying colours, scoring a 3.80 cumulative GPA.