Liaw, a former Rowland Heights resident who failed to make it out of the second stage of the PGA Tour’s qualifying school late last year, will try to qualify for the Nationwide circuit’s Chitimacha Louisiana Open, which will be held March 22-25 in Broussard, La. His upcoming schedule also includes Golden State mini-tour events, the Volvo Open in Shanghai and other Nationwide Monday qualifiers. “I’ll keep grinding and trying to work my way in,” he said. His coach at Los Altos, Dick Slosek, said he always marveled at not only Liaw’s tenacity but his attitude in general. “He never gets flustered,” Slosek said. “He has such a positive demeanor and he’s so mentally mature. It’s only a matter of time.” Liaw, who won the 2001 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and was a quarterfinalist in the 2002 U.S. Amateur, won the Pac-10 individual title as a freshman at Arizona and was a three-time All-American with the Wildcats, but sponsorship deals became available after his junior year and Liaw decided it was time to give the pro life a chance. There were some who felt Liaw left college too abruptly, but Liaw insisted that wasn’t so. He said he waited until last August to make sure he had the proper NCAA paperwork completed and that Arizona would not lose his scholarship. Liaw may be older and a little taller, but he still possesses the same grin that endeared him to so many people while growing up and continues to play the game for the joy he gets out of it. “I love playing,” the former Los Altos High School standout said. “Playing is my thing.” “A lot of people said I left school without any responsibility, but that’s not the case,” he said. “It made me look kind of bad. They thought I was I like an NBA player, just kind of left.” He got through the first stage of the PGA Tour’s qualifying school in early November, but failed to make it out of stage two, even though it was held on what he considers his home course, Oak Valley Golf Club. Liaw missed advancing by a single shot; he tied for 20th – only the top 19 players and ties moved on – when Warren Schutte of Phoenix made a 15-foot putt for bogey on the final hole. “Everybody felt bad for me,” he said, “but it was a learning experience. For about a week, everybody was afraid to talk to me. But I was like, `I’m OK, I’m over it. It’s fine.’ A lot of people said it may work out for me because I won’t get burned out too quickly. That’s happened to friends of mine … if it’s going to happen, it will.” Liaw is set financially for the next several years. He has sponsorship deals with Japanese clubmaker Fourteen and Oak Valley Golf Club and gets his hats, shirts, shoes and golf balls from Titleist. All of his deals, with the exception of the agreement he has with Oak Valley owner Huey Yu, are for four years. The sponsorship from Oak Valley, where he volunteers and helps teach at youth clinics, is for seven. “It’s good for me to have these things done … I don’t have to worry,” he said. “I can just go out there and let it loose. I just want to have fun.” It won’t be quite that easy. Liaw, who said he hopes to avoid the pitfalls that claimed the likes of former youth phenom Ty Tryon, now on the Hooters Tour, is working almost from scratch. An impressive past has not resulted in much, if any, preferential treatment. “It’s like single-A baseball, maybe rookie league,” he said with a grin. “Almost like getting undrafted in the NBA. I wish there had been a draft, because I probably would have been drafted after my freshman year. It really is a grind, but I’d turn pro again. “Look at it this way. I could be taking a mid-term (exam) right now.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2272 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! It was nine years ago that Henry Liaw, then only 12 years old, shot a stunning 58 at Alhambra Municipal Golf Course. But a lot has changed since then. He recently turned 21 and bought a house, left the University of Arizona a year early and is about to embark on his first season as a professional golfer.