HJGT Alumni: Hiroshi Tai Wins 2024 Men’s Golf Championship

Golf is such an amazing sport because anyone can win if all things click over a weekend. Whether it’s Tiger winning the Masters in 2019 or Michael Block going from a club pro to a top-15 finish in the PGA Championship a year ago, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of you going in, what matters is how you perform. No one thought much of Hiroshi Tai’s chances while he competed in the NCAA individual national championship, but after his astonishing win last weekend, he proved that he is one of the top amateur golfers in the world. 

Hiroshi Tai’s Upbringing

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Hiroshi Tai competing in the National Championship

Tai’s golf game started at the age of four when his parents brought him to a driving range in Singapore, and that is where he first began to dream of playing at the highest level. He later moved to Winter Garden, Florida, when he was 12. This was when his golf game began to take off, as he began to compete in junior tournaments all across the country. 

In 2017, he competed in the Orlando Junior Shootout with HJGT and received a first-place finish with an impressive seven-stroke lead! That weekend, back when Tai was at the young age of 15, he shot a 75 in round one and 79 in round two. This was one of many victories that helped him reach the top 40 of the Junior Golf Scoreboard. “Playing in junior events allowed me to learn how to compete and enjoy playing tournaments,” Tai told us. His exemplary skills as both a student and a golfer allowed him to commit to Georgia Tech in 2019. 

Tai told us that if he were to go back to the days of junior tournaments, he would give himself the advice to, “be patient and have some fun on the course.” Both these qualities go hand-in-hand, as you aren’t going to play your best every time you step onto the course. Thus, it’s best to follow Hiroshi Tai’s advice to be patient with yourself and find enjoyment any time you are on the course.

Hiroshi Tai did not follow the traditional route of going straight from high school into college, as after high school, he served his required two-year military service in the Singapore Navy. “I think it just let me mature and kind of figure out what I really wanted to do,” Tai told the Golf Channel. “It made me appreciate everything that I do have, playing golf almost every day. Amazing courses as well. Made me realize how great of a place, how lucky I am to be at Georgia Tech.” This sort of maturity Tai gained while being on a battleship for two years helps give him a competitive edge over the other golfers he faces!

Tai Wins Division I Men’s Individual Title

Tai after winning Division I Men’s Individual Title

Hiroshi Tai’s performance last weekend at the 2024 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship left much of the golf world blown away. It didn’t matter to him that he wasn’t one of the favorites to win going into the event or even that he triple-bogeyed the penultimate hole, as he told NBC Golf that, “I still had one more (hole) to play and everything to play for the team.” Once he got to the last hole, he hit a clutch six-foot putt for par, which eventually led to him winning the Men’s Individual Title.

He became just the fourth player ever to become a national collegiate champion from Georgia Tech. After the win, he told GolfWeek, “all of the guys on the team have really helped me a lot the past two-and-a-half years. I’m just so thankful for all of the relationships I have been able to make.” This sort of “team-first” mentality is something that Tai learned at a young age and helped mold him into the player he is today. 

What’s Next For Hiroshi Tai

Keeping the right balance between being a student and an athlete is something that Tai has been able to excel at while at Georgia Tech. On top of Tai’s achievements in the sport, he was also on the Dean’s List in Fall 2022 and the All-ACC Men’s Golf Academic Team 2022-2023. He is currently studying Business Administration, and he is setting himself up for success both on the course and in the classroom.

Hiroshi Tai will also be the first Singaporean to play at the prestigious Masters Tournament at Augusta National next year. By winning the Men’s Golf Championship, he received an automatic bid and told us that, “it is awesome to have a chance to play in the Masters. It’s definitely something I grew up dreaming of.” Well, last weekend Hiroshi Tai’s dreams officially became a reality.

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