Since his arrival at the University of Oregon in 2011, Jonathan Woo has possessed an unusual and challenging travel schedule. The Singapore native only played in two tournaments for the Oregon men’s golf team in the fall, missing a portion of the season while touring in Asia with the amateur Singapore national team. All while continuing to maintain a high grade point average as a student.
Woo, an applied economics major, has traveled back and forth from Asia to Oregon throughout his collegiate career, which he says can be extremely strenuous and distracting.
“It’s pretty hard because you are traveling such a long distance,” Woo said. “It takes a toll on your body and I get pretty tired from all the traveling. It’s also kind of why my performances in the Fall aren’t as good because there are so many extra distractions and on top of that going to school and trying to get a good GPA as well.”
Woo did not have the option of progressing his golf career in a system that NCAA golf in America offered in Asia. Instead, he chose the University of Oregon because of Eugene’s inclement weather.
“I thought that playing in a lot of bad weather and the cold would help my game because back home I am just playing in the sun all the time,” Woo said. “I figured that I could challenge myself and see how far I can go.”
Woo is the Ducks’ highest-ranked amateur golfer heading into the spring season. The junior scored three top-10 finishes last spring and won his first ever collegiate tournament at the Duck Invitational, carding a career-best 54-hole total of 8-under-par (67-69-72—208).
Woo has enjoyed success while touring in Asia. In 2012 he won three amateur opens in the span of two months and even scored as the best amateur in the Barclays Singapore Open, a tournament that included PGA Tour participants Jon Daly, Padraig Harrington and Michael Campbell.
“Doing well in one of those events kind of gave me a confidence booster for me to know that I can eventually get there,” Woo said.
Before that however, Woo endured a unique situation for a young and promising golfer and was forced to put his golf career on a slight hold when he was 19. He was forced to serve in the Singapore Military under its mandated conscription that males must serve a 22-24 month stint. The time in the military hindered his development, but gave him a certain level of maturity that has helped him become a leader.
“Woo is one of our more mature guys,” first year assistant coach Vance Williams said. “He served in the military in Singapore before he came so he is already a couple of years older than a traditional (college student) and I definitely think as our lone (upperclassmen) that he likes the responsibility.”
Woo is back in Eugene for winter and for golf season in the spring.
“Woo is going to be one of our most steady guys and we are excited about the spring and letting him loose again,” Williams said.
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