Westview senior Andy Yang, who has signed to play at Cal Baptist, is one of the state's longer hitters. (Courtesy Westview HS)
Westview senior Andy Yang, who has signed to play at Cal Baptist, is one of the state's longer hitters. (Courtesy Westview HS)

Westview senior golfer Andy Yang has been tearing up the links so far this season, winning four of his first five tournaments with an average score of 69.0

What's scary, though, is that Yang believes he is close to reaching another level.

“There's always something more out there that I can get,” Yang said. “At this point, I'm like right at the door, where I need that one breakthrough, and everything will start falling into place.

“The past couple tournaments, I've been getting to that point where I've felt that moment, and it kind of slipped away. I'm getting really close to that point where I'm playing really, really good golf, almost perfect golf.”

Yang, who has signed to play in college at Division I Cal Baptist, has been a model of consistency this season. In Metro League matches, he has shot 67 at Forest Hills, 71 at Meriwether, 68 at Langdon Farms and 69 on the South Course at The Reserve Vineyards. On Monday, he repeated as champion of the General Invite at Columbia Edgewater, shooting a 70.

Yang, who tied for fourth place in the 6A tournament in 2022 and tied for eighth in 2023, is looking as confident and focused as ever. Wildcats coach Alex Ely believes that Yang's experience from last summer, when he opted to forgo the Oregon Golf Association junior circuit for the challenge of national events, and a lighter class load has helped Yang elevate his game.

“He had a heavy class load last year and I think he kind of got distracted,” Ely said. “All season long it was like, 'What's wrong? What can I fix?' Trying to figure out how to just get back to under par. This season, I think he just had a way better summer, and I think his class load isn't nearly as heavy. That's given him the opportunity to focus on golf a lot more.”

After enjoying plenty of success in OGA tournaments the previous summer, Yang entered about a half-dozen American Junior Golf Association events last summer. He held his own, finishing fourth in one tournament and sixth in another.

“I wanted to get myself out there to more national events and kind of see how I stack up in other places,” Yang said. “Making that move really helped me to understand that I was being too comfortable in just staying in Oregon, and I really needed to grind and improve my game.”

Ely said that as Yang is showing improvement as he becomes more disciplined in his approach. As one of the state's longest hitters – consistently carrying around 290 yards – he has to fight the temptation to lean on power.

“He's a very, very aggressive player,” Ely said. “He likes to bomb it long, get as close to the green as possible, and have the shortest club he can possibly get. That is his game. I have to pump the brakes with him on specific holes that could cost him with the risk-reward. If he had it his way, he would go risk all day long.”

Yang said the biggest improvement he can make is mental.

“Just kind of getting over that hump of being that low, and staying in that moment and not thinking ahead,” Yang said. “If I get to that point where I can take it one shot at a time, and just feel the rhythm throughout the whole 18, I feel like I can shoot lower scores.

“One of my strengths is consistency off the tee. I hit a lot of fairways, which gets me into really good positions. It makes it a lot easier to be more aggressive on the pins.”

Yang said he has benefited from the play of his sophomore brother, Alex, who is No. 2 in Westview's lineup with a scoring average of 73.2. Alex Yang tied for 16th at state as a freshman.

“It makes me more comfortable knowing that he's going to be out there and shooting a good score, so I can kind of just be more free and focus on my own game,” Andy Yang said. “He hasn't been playing to his potential yet, but he's getting really close. I really believe that in the next couple weeks he'll get to the point where he's shooting around the same scores as me.”

Alex finished one stroke behind Andy in the General Invite on Monday.

“Alex is just as good,” Ely said. “He's got talent in different ways. Andy has just figured out how to score. Alex is a little more methodical.”

Led by the Yangs and sophomore Jake Rodgers, Westview expects to be a factor in the 6A tournament. The Wildcats – who tied for third at state last year, 20 strokes behind champion Lake Oswego – have been dueling with Jesuit in the Metro, each team winning two of the four tournaments.

Westview should have an edge with the 6A tournament being played at Quail Valley. Leading up to state, the Wildcats will play at Quail Valley in a Metro tournament April 22 and the State Preview on April 24.

“It used to be one of the courses that I played almost every single day,” Andy Yang said. “I feel like I know how to score out there. I feel really confident in my chances of playing really well and potentially winning.”

Andy Yang will have to contend with other standouts such as Lake Oswego sophomore Drew Woolworth, Jesuit junior Jack Harrington and Jesuit senior Grady Brown.

“Andy is by far the most consistent of the group, in my opinion,” Ely said. “I think him and Drew are really the guys to beat this year.”