Hsin-Yu Lu and Oregon's 'Team Taiwan' have turned the Ducks into a golfing force
Derek Radley's focus on international recruiting has Oregon in prime position for this week's Pac-12 women’s golf championships.
EUGENE — Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu began with an apology.
Oregon’s hosting the Pac-12 championships this week at Eugene Country Club and she didn’t have a ton of spare time. She had a workout in 30 minutes, and, well, her dad was going to have to hang around for the interview.
“He’s never been to Oregon,” she said last week as her father quietly walked around Oregon’s Hatfield-Dowlin Complex taking in the various trophies and exhibits and screens. “It surprises me how the U.S. supports their sports and athletes. There’s no facilities like this in Taiwan.”
Lu, the No. 1 player on the No. 2 Oregon women’s golf team, is a sophomore from Taiwan. She’s the No. 42 amateur in the world, and two weeks ago her dad’s whirlwind tour of America began with a trip out to the Augusta Women’s Amateur.
Lu was originally boarding a flight for Phoenix for the ASU Invitational when she got a surprise call saying that she had qualified. So she flew to Arizona, shot even-par over two rounds, then jetted out to Augusta to play against the world’s top amateur golfers the next week.
She shot a 73 and a 79 and missed the cut by three strokes.
“It’s really been my dream. Women never get a chance to play Augusta,” Lu said. “It’s perfect. It’s not even just the golf course. The cart paths, the sides of the course, the grass along the roads — it’s all like carpet. It’s just golf and trees and grass.”
The conditions could be quite different this week in Eugene, where local weather has featured rain, wind, sleet, hail, sun and drastic temperature swings over the last couple of weeks. “Duck Weather,” as fourth-year head coach Derek Radley likes to say. It should play into No. 2 Oregon’s favor: The Ducks prepare religiously in the elements, and the team’s quest for its first conference title comes at a time when the roster has never been stronger.