Nov. 19, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern Director of Golf Pat Goss has announced the signings of arguably the best recruiting class in program history. Jae Han (Eric) Chun (Ansung City, South Korea/International Christian School) and Samuel Chien (San Diego, Calif./Mt. Carmel) have signed National Letters of Intent with the Wildcats.
According to the latest Junior Golf Scoreboard ranking, Chun is ranked 11th nationally and Chien is 24th, giving Northwestern one of the top-10 recruiting classes in the country (according to the Junior Golf Scoreboard ranking). Chun also is ranked eighth in the 2008 class by the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) and 18th by Golfweek/Titleist. Chien is listed as the 28th-best player by the AJGA and 30th by Golfweek/Titleist.
"The signing of Eric and Sam represents a very strong recruiting class that will be competitive with the best recruiting classes in the country," says Goss. "Equally impressive as their results in the U.S. are the competitive successes and experiences they have both had internationally. These experiences will serve them very well in college golf."
Chun was a first-team AJGA Rolex Junior All-American (one of 12 players to receive this honor), finishing first in two AJGA events this past summer. He played the entire summer in the United States. In South Korea, Chun finished first in two other events in 2006.
Born in Seoul, Korea and moving to Malaysia at the age of 5, Chun became the top-ranked junior in Malaysia by the age of 12. He would go on to win six amateur opens and one national junior open by the age of 14. Chun then moved to Australia where he posted a 70.24 stroke average in 2004 to win the New South Wales Vardon award. In 2004, he won the Cronulla Amateur Open, Penrith Amateur and finished second at the Mastercard Junior Masters.
In 2005, Chun racked up 13 Australian Junior titles, including the NSW Junior Championship.
"Eric is one of the most impressive players I have seen in junior golf in my 12 years," says Goss. "His game is very mature and polished and his results have matched. I anticipate Eric will make an immediate impact in college golf."
Chien is a 2007 honorable mention AJGA Rolex Junior All-American. Placing first at the AJGA Ping Phoenix Junior, Chien was a medalist at U.S. Juniors Qualifier, and also qualified for Match Play at U.S. Juniors. He was a team member of the victorious West Canon Cup squad (junior version of the Ryder Cup).
In 2006, Chien placed first at three separate events. Once again, he earned AJGA Rolex Junior All-America honors. He also was a member of the 2006-winning Jr. America's Cup Team. In addition, Chien was a semifinalist at the Polo Golf Junior Classic, which is one of the most prestigious events in junior golf.
"Sam has won national junior tournaments each of the last two summers and has displayed a great consistency in competing with and beating the best players in the country," says Goss. "This summer he also stepped up his game posting rounds of 69-67-65 to win the AJGA Ping Phoenix and 68-69 to qualify for the U.S. Junior. To shoot 65 the final day while playing in the final pairing in Phoenix shows great competitive heart."
The pair will begin their Northwestern careers in the fall of 2008.