Hometown: Great Falls, Va.
High School: Langley High School (‘21)
College Commitment: Duke (‘25)
World Amateur Golf Ranking (All Ages): No. 49
Accomplishments: 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Medalist, 2020 Rolex Junior Player of the year, 2019 Rolex Junior All American, Winner of 2019 Rolex Tournament of Champions, 2019 US Junior Amateur Semi-Finalist, 2018 US Junior Amateur Medalist
When Kelly Chinn arrives at CCNC in mid-July for the 73rd U.S. Junior Amateur, he will have more experience in the event than any other competitor. In the 71st U.S. Junior Am at Baltusrol Golf Club, Chinn shot -8 through two rounds of stroke play to earn medalist honors and lost in the round of 32 to Jacob Bridgeman in 20 holes. The following year, Chinn was T16 through stroke play and made it all the way to the semifinals where he was defeated by Bo Jin, 1 up.
When did you start playing golf?
“I started playing golf when I was five. My grandfather from Japan introduced me to the game, and he would take me to the golf course and range to take a few swings.”
What are your career goals?
“After college, hopefully, I’m successful enough to go pro. I want to be the best player I can and do well in every opportunity that I have. Right now, I’m just focused on college and to keep getting better.”
What would it mean to you to be the U.S. Junior Amateur Champion?
“It would mean so much to me to win the Junior Amateur. It has been such a big event for me going back to 2018. I have had a ton of success but fallen short both times, so if I would be able to win that’d be really big for me.”
How will you use your past Junior Amateur experience to your advantage?
“In 2019 I made it all the way to the semifinals, so I’ve already been through that survive and advance situation in this type of event. Being able to experience the pressure of match play is something that you can’t recreate in practice or even a stroke-play event. My experience in match play should be a really big advantage.”
What do you think about CCNC and its golf courses?
“CCNC is a great club. I’m really good friends with Jackson Van Paris, so I’ve been able to see the course and play a few times with him. There are really great holes with lots of challenges, and I know the USGA is going to make it even more challenging. I’m looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be a really good test for the players.”
What are your strengths and how do you think they will benefit you on Dogwood and Cardinal?
“I’m a really accurate ball striker, especially off the tee. I know the USGA likes to grow out the rough on all their courses, so hitting fairways and greens is a premium. I do well at those things, so my mindset going into the event is to be as accurate as possible and not try to bomb the course. I’m just going to stick to my strengths.
By Taft Gantt