Lake Oswego golfer Tya Seth sees season at Idaho State cut short
When Lake Oswego's Tya Seth finished her high school golf career, she finished it on top.
A 2018 graduate of Lake Oswego High School, Seth capped her Laker career by breaking through to win the Class 6A state championship.
Now, Seth is facing a new challenge.
This time, however, it's not skinny, tree-lined fairways or two-tiered greens cut to lightning speed that Seth had to overcome.
Like many other college athletes across the country, Seth just saw her 2020 collegiate season cut short by restrictions related to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
Seth, a sophomore on the Idaho State University women's golf team, was playing in the Pizza Hut Lady Thunderbird Invitational at Sunbrook Golf Club in St. George, Utah — her team's third tournament of the season — on March 12 when she learned her season had come to an end.
"My coach hinted at the idea of this being my last round of the season, but it didn't fully hit me until one of my competitors from Omaha was pulled off the course by their coach," Seth said. "My initial reaction was to go find (Hadley Hersh, ISU's lone senior) and give her a hug. … This had been her first round of the season (so) to have our season get cancelled the day it began for her… (was) heartbreaking. The tears we shed as a team had drowned a season we looked forward to filling with memories."
School: Idaho State University
Year in School: Sophomore
Major: Multiplatform Journalism and Public Relations
Team: ISU women's golf
High School: Lake Oswego, Class of 2018
There was reason to mourn the loss of her own season, too. As a freshman, Seth had proven her ability right from the first tee shot. During her first year as a Bengal, Seth was ISU's best. Among her freshman-year accomplishments were:
• She finished her season with the sixth-lowest scoring average for a season at 80.27 strokes.
• She tied the school record for the lowest round with a 71 at the Big Sky Championship.
• Her round of 73 at the Red Rocks Invitational tied for the seventh-lowest round.
• She shot a 227 at the Big Sky Championship — the second lowest tournament score in school history.
• And her 228 at the Red Rocks Invitational marked ISU's fourth-lowest tournament score.
Seth made a solid start to her 2020 season, too. She finished 10th in the Battle at Boulder Creek (at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Boulder City, Nevada) Feb. 10-11, took 30th (among 80 players) in the Jackrabbit Invitational at Boulder Creek March 9-10, then shot a 77 to take 23rd among 69 players at the shortened Lady Thunderbird Invitational.
"Although it broke my heart to see all (of ISU's seniors seasons end), everyone's health has always been more important to me," Seth said. "I thank my coach and athletic faculty … because they instilled in us that some things are greater than sport. Academics, mental health and physical health, among others, are all things that we must have under our control before going and being able to compete."
Since the end of her sophomore season, Seth has spent time with her family, worked out, focused on her putting (on the carpet at home) and prepared for the transition to online classes at ISU.
"It is such a blessing to be home and to be connected with the ones that matter most to me during this difficult time," she said. "I have taken a few online classes before … so I believe that the transition will be smooth."
And of course, Seth is already looking forward to her return to the golf course and competition.
"(I want to) pick up with athletics and academics where we left off," she said. "I am looking forward to … being back on campus with my closest friends, earning my degree in a classroom setting and being able to compete at the collegiate level. This experience has truly taught me to appreciate the little things a whole lot more and I am excited to see what the future holds."
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