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Former champion golfer focuses on helping those with infectious diseases

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Larry Han was once the top-ranked 11-year-old golfer in the world, even going head-to-head with Jordan Spieth and beating him. Larry Han was once the top-ranked 11-year-old golfer in the world, even going head-to-head with Jordan Spieth and beating him.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Childhood trophies fill an entire room in Larry Han's home -- reminders of a time when Han ruled the golf scene.

"This is from 2003 up to 2011," Han pointed out. "At that age, you're so enamored by the game [that] you're thinking, 'One day I'm going to make it.' "

At one time Han was the top-ranked 11-year-old golfer in the world, even going head-to-head with Jordan Spieth and beating him.

"And today he's top 10 in the world," Han said. "You look at him and say, 'That guy had it.' But I sort of had it at that age as well."

But as fate would have it, injuries derailed his once promising career. Yet unlike many athletes, Han had a backup plan.

As a Morehead Scholar, Han has studied in Singapore and is currently in London working with the World Health Organization.

"We'll be focusing on infectious diseases and how … we create these diagnostic tests to test for them," Han pointed out.

Han is now full steam into his career, and golf is once again a part of his life. For a half a year, he gave up on the sport; but as time passes, he said the pain faded and he realized "I really love this game."

Han still "has it," only now his talents are used to help people, not entertain them.

"There's no looking back," he said, "it's all going forward."

But there will always be a chance to look back at a time when no one was better.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Todd Gibson

Known as "Gibby" around the station, Todd excels at taking viewers beyond who won or who lost. He hosts "Friday Night Blitz," a showcase of varsity football action in our area. If you have a cool sports story, tell Gibby! More>>

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