As the women’s golf team tees off for its last tournament of the season at Manito Golf and Country Club, all eyes are on freshman player Quynn Duong.
It did not take long for Duong’s career as a Division I golfer to excel after settling in as a college freshman. In September, at her first collegiate tournament, Battle at Old Works in Anaconda, Montana, Duong finished second, four strokes behind first place and held GU’s first under-par round of the year.
“Quynn came in already as a great player, but she has shown the signs of being really eager to learn and ready to take input where coaches feel they can help hone her on her already good game,” said Victoria Fallgren, women’s golf’s assistant coach. “So the sky is really the limit for her.”
The following month in the fourth tournament of the season, Duong earned her third second-place performance at the 41st Pat Bradley Invitational in Florida.
The outcome of this tournament was not only a competitive achievement for Duong, but also a milestone for the memory book.
“The best I’ve done was definitely in Florida,” Duong said. “I enjoyed that tournament — it was warm outside, we stayed with a host family and they had a pool. It was really fun.”
From San Jose, California, Duong entered Gonzaga as a double major in psychology and sports management. Even though her success in school and sports reflects her hard-working character, Duong dedicates her achievements to the immense support from her team and coaches.
“Before coming in, I heard a lot of people say the first semester of your freshman year will be the hardest, with balancing golf and school,” she said. “But my teammates have really helped me through it and my coaches and athletic advisers are there for me when I need it.”
Duong finished top three in three different tournaments this year. She wasn’t expecting such success, but she doesn’t take it for granted, either.
“Coming into college I didn’t have any expectations for where I stand on the team or how I would place at tournaments, so seeing how I’ve been playing has gotten me near the top motivates me to work harder,” she said. “I know now that I do have a chance to win tournaments.”
The team, comprised of the three other freshmen, one sophomore and two juniors are just as grateful for Duong.
“She’s there to compete and we know that, so that really helps the team,” said junior Jessica Mangrobang. “She is a character and I’m excited to see how Quynn will grow as a college player.”
Fallgren said when Duong first visited GU as a junior, the high schooler was apprehensive.
Even though the infamous Spokane weather rained over Duong’s unofficial visit, Duong said she saw potential in GU, just as the coaches saw in her.
“When I came on my visit I really clicked with the team and it felt like the coaches really cared about me,” she said. “I’ve had a pretty good freshman year so far. I’m happy to be a Zag and I’m happy to be golfing.”