“The possibilities we can achieve are endless”

Sophomore Yuya Eguchi’s attitude, work ethic receives high praise from teammates, coaches

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COURTESY OF CHRIS CASKEY, WSU ATHLETICS

Sophomore Yuya Eguchi drives a ball as he looks down the course.

DAYLON HICKS, Evergreen reporter

WSU men’s golf is a program that expects a lot of hard work and determination out of its athletes, and sophomore Yuya Eguchi embodies that perfectly.

Eguchi was born in Chiba, Japan, and played golf at Club Med Academy in Port St. Lucie, Florida, before coming to WSU.

He competed in South Florida Section PGA Junior Golf and managed to gain two top-25 finishes in the 2018 Boys 13-18 Championship Player of the Year, and eighth and ninth place at the Junior Tour Championship Events 7 and 10, according to the WSU Athletics website.

“I started winning tournaments and I felt great about them,” Eguchi said. “It showed that all my hard work throughout high school paid off.”

His love for the game of golf began in high school, which is when he knew he wanted to take this sport to the highest level.

“When I got to high school, I knew that I seriously wanted to go pro,” Eguchi said. “I felt heavily impacted by the game and those who I was playing with and I knew that golf is something I want to do in the next level.”

Golf is one of the few sports that requires the player to be unlocked mentally at all times, which is one of the main reasons why he loves the sport so much.

“The physical portion is important for golf, but the mental aspect also comes to play because you know where your mark is and there is just a lot of responsibility with that,” Eguchi said.

Eguchi said he chose WSU not only because of how much he thought he would improve, but also because of the potential he saw in the team.

“Making the decision to go to WSU was a no-brainer for me. I really like everyone on the coaching staff and my teammates,” Eguchi said.

Head coach Dustin White believes physical size is one of the main traits that makes Eguchi great.

“He’s tall, he can create a lot of speed, and he has really good fundamentals,” White said. “He is one of those guys who you see swing their golf club and you think that he was born for this and built for this.”

As a WSU alum, White considers his coaching role as a way of giving back to his alma mater by sharing his knowledge of the game.

“I feel as if I can share my knowledge with guys and do the best I can to accomplish their goals, whether it may be going professional or being in the workforce,” he said.

Despite COVID-19 playing a huge role in practice and planning tournaments, White said he feels confident in getting everything organized while going through the pandemic. He also said being prepared and keeping his head up is the best way to approach their situation.

White said that even with all that is going on in the world, he is overly ecstatic to be coaching Eguchi and the rest of the team. He knows they are going to achieve what they want for the year.

“I’m just really excited to see where things go with this team because the possibilities we can achieve are endless,” White said.

Eguchi’s teammate, Pono Yanagifrom Hilo, Hawaii, said Eguchi produces good energy and plays a huge role on the team.

“Yuya is a great teammate. He really tries to have a relationship with each of us,” Yanagi said. “He is a hard worker and practices a lot. He also works hard in the gym.”

Overall, Eguchi’s experience with WSU has been great and he is looking forward to the years to come.

“Despite COVID, my freshman year was fun. I managed to make new friends and create accolades for the season I did have,” Eguchi said.

His accolades for the season include a season-best finish in his first tournament of the fall, tying for 40th at the Oregon State Invitational in October 2019 with a score of 224 (+11), according to the WSU Athletics website.

He also shot a season-best 221 (+1) at the Bandon Dunes Championship in March 2020, carded a personal-best 71 during the first round of the Arizona Intercollegiate in January 2020, and then again in the second round of the Bandon Dunes Championship, according to the WSU Athletics website.

Even in the midst of the pandemic, Eguchi has found a physical space at WSU that helps him connect with the university.

“Bohler has to be my favorite place on campus because I get to discover new people and make new friends who are student-athletes just like me,” Eguchi said. “Bohler is also a place where I can get better and improve in the weight room so that is always useful.”

Eguchi has high praise for both his home country of Japan and his current home here in the United States.

“Being raised in Japan and exploring Japan was a once in a lifetime deal for me,” Eguchi said. “My favorite place I have been in the United States so far has to be Florida. It was where I went to high school and the views in Florida make it feel that it is summer every day.”

 His goals for this season are to do his best and keep hitting new accolades for this year.

“I want to stay consistent and focus on the things I did well. It really helps just staying focused mentally and physically,” Eguchi said.

Despite the high standards he holds himself to, Eguchi is very team-oriented and just wants to see all the players succeed.

“I am looking towards achieving accomplishments as a team because when my team does good, so do I.”

WSU fans can catch Eguchi, Yanagi and the rest of the men’s golf team in their scheduled tournaments for the spring 2021 season. Their first event is the Arizona Intercollegiate from Jan. 25-27 at Sewailo Golf Club in Tucson, Arizona.