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Ex-UW golfer C.T. Pan on the bubble in FedEx Cup

UNIVERSITY PLACE, WA: Former Washington Huskies golfer C.T. Pan of Taiwan watches his tee shot on the sixth hole during the second round of the 115th U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay on June 19, 2015. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

As play begins at the BMW Championships on Thursday, former Washington Huskies golfer C.T. Pan is on the outside looking in. A good finish this week gets him to the finals of the FedEx Cup

Although he hasn’t won on the PGA Tour just yet C.T. Pan is certainly on the precipice. Last month at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, NC, he was in contention to win but hit his tee shout out of bounds and double-bogeyed the 18th hole on Sunday to finish second.

That was one shot behind the winner Brent Snedecker who birdied the same hole. Overall, it wasn’t a bad week for the Bellevue, WA resident. His wife Michelle was his caddie for the tournament. He even joked beforehand that it would be a true test of his marriage. Following a tough loss, he had enough class to congratulate the winner and thank the fans.

Thursday begins the third of four stages to determine the 2018 PGA Tour champion. C.T. Pan from the University of Washington is squarely on the bubble to advance to the TOUR Championship in two weeks. The FedEx point standings show him in 32nd place entering this weekend’s BMW Championship, only the top 30 will move on to the finals in two weeks.

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On his way up

If there is anyone who can work his way to the top, it’s Pan. The youngest of six children, his mother helped support her family as a caddie at a local golf course in Taiwan. He became a good enough golfer to be accepted at the IMG Golf Academy in Bradenton, FL to finish high school. At age 15, he became the youngest golfer since Bobby Jones in 1916 to reach the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur.

Pan earned a spot at the University of Washington as the eighth-ranked amateur in the world. In doing so, he became the first member of his extended family to attend college. At UW, he won four individual tournaments and many more team tournaments. Additionally, the Huskies went to the NCAA Championships all four of his years there. Pretty good for a kid who came to the United States eight years earlier, not speaking English.

He turned pro after college and joined the Mackenzie Tour in Canada, winning two events. That year he even managed to place 64th at the U.S. Open, as a local qualifier. His 2015 performance was good enough to get him a spot on the tour, the second highest level of professional golf in North America. He excelled again, with seven top-10s, $204,075 in earnings and finished the year in 11th place overall, earning him a full PGA Tour card.

In two years at the top level of golf, Pan has had five top 10 finishes, including two seconds. That’s good for just short of $3.2M in career PGA earnings. Last week, he entered the Dell Technologies Classic two slots out of advancement in 72nd place. He finished fourth to move on.

Next: 3 Takeaways from Huskies loss vs. Auburn

If anyone has the character to work his way up to a top 30 finish this weekend, its C.T. Pan


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