Maturing in San Jose, golf enthusiast Shintaro Restriction also was a competitive swimmer. However even the most weekend warrior of golf enthusiasts can tell you that the greens and fairways can drop you right in the deep end, too.
Restriction was a standout recruit in 2014, concerning UNLV on the heels of winning the Junior Golf Association of Northern California’s Gamer of the Year award. However he was foundering with the Rebels. He was barely playing with the group and was left behind for competitions.
“I was pretty homesick and it was hard. I thought, ‘Hey, you’re not taking a trip at all. If you’re going to miss out on home, may too go back home,” Restriction said. “But I came here for a reason.'”
It was an early numeration. Restriction would soon determine ways to balance school and golf, by ensuring he wasn’t up too late that he was tired for practice. He would learn how to focus on the weak points on his video game rather of skating by on the important things he currently succeeded, like hitting long off the tee. By his second term, Ban was an integral member of the team. He would go on to All-America accolades and an area in Rebel record books with an all-time university low of 62 in one competition.
4 years and one economics bachelor’s later on, on June 14, right before 9 a.m. on a clear Long Island early morning, Ban found himself at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. He teed off in between 12-year PGA pro Sung Joon Park and 11-year veteran Tim Wilkinson in the 2018 U.S. Open.
“It didn’t quite sink in until after the preliminary,” Restriction stated. “It was like ‘Wow, I played a round in the United States Open.’ It was the most enjoyable I have actually ever had. To be out there experiencing my first day playing my first expert event, it was certainly something unique.”
Shinnecock, however, was unforgiving. A few of the top players worldwide had a hard time from eviction. Restriction carded an 81 on the first day, rebounded with a 78 in the 2nd round, however signed up with the likes of top-flight pros like Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, and Tiger Woods in missing out on the cut. Previous UNLV golf player and Masters winner Adam Scott also missed out on.
Rickie Fowler, who ended up tied for 20th, shot an 84 in the 3rd round. So at least, if using a course that rough-and-tumble was a lesson, it’s one Restriction shown some of the best golf enthusiasts in the world.
“I’m grateful I got the experience and an excellent, brutal beat-down,” Restriction said.
The experience was different but the lesson was the same as it was in his freshman year: after a huge difficulty on the course, it’s time to put in the work.
So rather of turning professional right after graduation, Ban is staying amateur through the summer season to tweak parts of his video game that he saw were lacking compared to pros at the Open. The Pacific Coast Amateur, where he completed 2 over and tied for 28th, and the United States Amateur Champion at Pebble Beach Aug. 13-19– the competition won by the likes of Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods and previous Rebel Ryan Moore– Restriction expects to be his last as an amateur.
When he does turn pro, UNLV coach Dwaine Knight anticipates Ban to rapidly develop himself as both a player and a character.
“The thing about Shintaro I truly liked was he has a great deal of creativity in a lot of various ways. He loves dancing; he’s an incredible dancer,” Knights stated. “He’s a fun-loving guy besides being a great player. I believe he’s going to have a brilliant future at the next level due to the fact that he’s so imaginative, and people gravitate to him. He’ll endear himself to the fans.”
Delaying the transfer to the pros did have one noteworthy upside for Ban. It suggested he got to play in the Palmer Cup in July, in Évian-les-Bains, France, on the shores of Lake Geneva.
The Palmer Cup is the college version of the Ryder Cup, pitting a group of Americans against their European counterparts. The United States squad beat Europe easily, with Ban going 2-1 in his songs matches and 3-1 total.
Doing it as a pro in the Ryder Cup appropriate is still a long ways away. Ban will have to scrap his way to a tour card, itself no mean task. However should he ever discover himself representing the United States once again, Ban will be all set.
“Palmer Cup was potentially among the best weeks of my life,” he said. “I enjoy being around the video game and having so much enjoyable. It made me really miss out on the team vibe. I like playing on a group, where I’m representing something. I like to amuse. It’s one thing that makes me truly delighted about golf– seeing a big gallery, you wish to carry out well in front of them and feel the love.”