Yurun Zhu, left, and Evelyn Wong, right, are freshmen on the Lehigh women's golf team. Both athletes spent time in Shanghai, China before playing for Lehigh. (Courtesy of Lehigh Sports)

Women’s golf adds two freshmen with international experience


The Lehigh women’s golf team added two new freshmen to the roster this year who already have their sights set on making an impact. 

Evelyn Wong and Yurun Zhu both have international experience, having played golf in Shanghai, China. They are joining a team of two sophomores, two juniors and three seniors. 

Wong said she was born and raised in Macungie, Pennsylvania, but attended high school in Shanghai. She has been playing golf since she was five years old. 

After playing her first two years of high school in Shanghai, she attended school virtually at home in Pennsylvania for both her junior and senior years. Wong won the PIAA districts in both years and was the East Penn Conference Most Valuable Player and individual champion in 2022.

Wong said while reaching out to colleges to be recruited, Lehigh coach Mary Kate Lynch stood out above any other coach, which factored into her decision to attend Lehigh. 

She said she is excited to join because of Lehigh’s team environment. In high school, Wong said her team was all men and so she is looking forward to bonding with her new teammates.  

“The girls I feel like are a lot more supportive than the guys,” Wong said. “I’m just excited to have a team who cares about me and I’m excited to show my team that I care about them too.”

Since joining the team, Wong said she has set personal goals for her golf career at Lehigh.

“My only goal is just to stay determined through the sport and understand that you just have to keep your mental game in check,” Wong said. “Keep practicing consistency and so as long as you do those two things the good outcomes will prevail.”

Zhu was born in Shanghai and said she has been playing golf for 12 years. 

Zhu said golf in America has been different than in Shanghai. The Lehigh team practices six days a week, compared to only four or five days in Shanghai. Zhu said Lehigh also has more tailored workouts for athletes.

In 2021, Zhu was a gold medalist in the Epic China Amateur Open, won the HSBC China Junior Championship and BUICK China Junior Championship in 2020, and she has reached 719 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

Zhu said she chose Lehigh not only for the golf opportunities, but also for the academics.

Zhu met with the rest of the team virtually before coming to Lehigh which she said helped her make the decision to join. 

“They were all super welcoming and friendly,” Zhu said. “That played a big role in my decision.” 

Wong said she set both personal and team goals before the season.

“We have a team goal that we want to win the Patriot League Championship,” Zhu said. “I just want to focus more on my game and use all the resources I have now to improve.”

Lynch said she found Zhu through first recruiting Wong, after learning that they were family friends. 

Due to the small nine player team, Lynch said she develops close connections with all the players and looks forward to having Zhu and Wong on the team because she knows they will have a positive impact.

“I’m just really happy they have each other,” Lynch said. “They can both speak Chinese to one another when Yurun is feeling homesick. It’s a helpful thing for both of them.”

Zhu, Wong and the rest of the team will compete in their first tournament of the season at the Hornet Classic at the Creek in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on Sept. 19 and 20. 

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