The 26 players who earned their 2013 PGA Tour cards through Q-School can look to newly crowned Rookie of the Year John Huh for inspiration.
After all, the 22-year-old earned his card on the number at 2011 Q-School. Five events later, he was a Tour winner, capturing the opposite-field event in Mexico to secure a two-year exemption.
“As everybody knows, Q-School is the most difficult tournament you can imagine,” Huh said Tuesday. “Just going through that really helped me this season and really gave me a lot of confidence that I can play and belong on the PGA Tour.”
After that breakthrough at the Mayakoba Classic – where he closed with 63 and prevailed in an eight-hole playoff – Huh would go on to finish tied for second in San Antonio, then become the only rookie to advance to the 30-man Tour Championship, eventually amassing nearly $2.7 million in earnings. His freshman season culminated with the announcement Tuesday that he was named the Tour’s Rookie of the Year, as voted on by his peers.
“It’s a great honor to have this award,” said Huh, who became the first player of Korean descent to win the Tour’s top rookie honors. “It’s really hard to explain just how I feel right now, and hopefully I can have another great year next year.”
His journey to the Tour was a circuitous one. Inspired by the play of fellow Koreans K.J. Choi and Y.E. Yang – “I really felt like they opened the path for us,” he said – Huh only briefly attended California State-Northridge before turning pro in 2008. He spent the next three years on the Korean Tour before attempting Q-School in fall 2011.