Xiaowen Yin, Epson Tour Graduate, made 10 cuts in 15 starts on the Epson Tour in 2022, recording seven top-10 finishes to earn membership for the 2023 LPGA Tour Season. In addition, she picked up two Epson Tour victories at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship and French Lick Charity Classic.
Just a couple of months ago, I achieved a lifelong dream. I punched my LPGA Tour card at the age of 17, making me the youngest player on the Epson Tour this year and also the youngest Epson Tour graduate to compete on the LPGA Tour next year.
Coming from China and accomplishing this goal was beyond my wildest dreams.
In fact, I still can't fully fathom it. I may have had my doubts along the way. But my parents? I guess they always knew.
Family is everything to me. I can't tell my story without mentioning my parents. For the last 17 years, they helped me master my game and supported me through all the ups and downs.
When I first picked up golf clubs, around the age of six, little did I know that just a 10 years later, I'd be playing against some of the best players in the world.
Without my parents completely dedicating themselves to my golf career, none of this would have been possible.
Early on, when I first started playing tournaments, I had to travel all over China. They were with me every step of the way.
When I started competing internationally, you guessed it, they were with me.
If you see me on the golf course, chances are that my parents aren't far away.
They are there to celebrate my wins, talk to me after losses, and guide me whenever I need them.
Without their care, dedication, and love, I certainly wouldn't be where I am today.
I'm forever thankful.
The mental game
I've been fortunate to find a lot of success early in my career. But don't think for one second that it all came easy to me. Every achievement, every accomplishment, came with its fair set of challenges.
Just traveling and competing all over the world as a 10-, 11-, or 12-year-old, for example, is no easy feat. Sure, when things go well, everything feels smooth and easy, but during the tough times, the struggle is real.
I particularly learned that when I first competed on the Epson Tour this year. The age difference was a thing, and I was struggling and missing cuts at first.
It wasn't easy to adjust.
Golf is a mental game, and once you start to doubt and second-guess yourself, it makes a challenging game that much more difficult. Luckily, I was able to lean on my parents during those times.
Once again, without a doubt, they made all the difference.
Making the cut
As the year progressed, I got over my early struggles and started finding success. Still, the LPGA Tour was the furthest thing from my mind. I just tried to get better and get used to the competition on The Epson Tour.
In fact, when the day came, and I was told that I got my LPGA Tour card, I was shocked and super surprised. They put a camera on me, and I just said, "Really? Already?"
I couldn't believe it.
I was the second person of the year to capture my card, and I thought I was still a way away from getting it. I guess that's the good thing about focusing on the journey more than the destination.
When I found out, all I wanted to do is tell my parents.
But they already knew.
They decided not to tell me so that I could enjoy this moment wholeheartedly.
Obviously, it was great to celebrate this incredible accomplishment with them. I achieved a lifelong dream and will be an LPGA Tour player next year.
Some people find it kind of funny when I say 'lifelong dream' since I'm not even 18 years old. But this has been in the making ever since I first picked up a club.
So, yes, this definitely is a lifelong dream.
What do you do when you accomplish one of your wildest dreams? You keep going.
I feel like I made it. There's no pressure now. Hopefully, I can play relaxed and just enjoy the game. It's been a long road from my days in China as a child playing golf with my parents. So much has changed, yet some things have remained the same.
I'm still on the golf course, loving the sport, with my parents by my side.
I can't wait to see them by my side as I start this new chapter.