Austin Duffy was an integral part of the Everett High School boys golf team’s reign over Wesco 3A. The recent graduate was a first-team All-Wesco selection each of his first three seasons as the Seagulls claimed league and district titles each of those years.
Beyond local competition, Duffy helped Everett place third as a team at the Class 3A state tournament when he was a sophomore and second when he was a junior — finishing ninth individually at last year’s tournament. He was set to add to his long list of accomplishments when spring sports were canceled as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Herald spoke to Duffy about his goals for this season, his work with a prominent golf coach, and the difference between high school golf and tournament golf in the latest edition of the spring sports senior salute:
What were your goals for this season?
This was going to be kind of an interesting year, since we lost a lot of our No. 4, 5 and 6 players. We weren’t going to be as strong one through six as we were, but we still had a fighting shot at our fourth Wesco title and possibly another top three at state. I was hoping to continue our win streak as a team, which was at 19 — we lost our first match my freshman year. And I thought I had a shot at an individual state title.
You mentioned you’ve been working with prominent swing coach Peter Murphy, who’s worked with PGA and LPGA players. How did you hook up with him?
One of my friends who I grew up playing golf with, his dad knows a lot of guys and he hooked me up with Peter. I never really had a coach before, besides my dad. I saw him about a year-and-a-half ago and things finally clicked. This guy knows what he’s doing. About once a month he comes up (from Dallas).
How has working with Murphy helped you?
Definitely with the mechanics of the swing, everything to do with the swing that you could imagine. It’s very technical, which is good. When we first met, my swing was quite haywire and I had a lot of misses. Now the misses are very minuscule and easier to handle.
What are you going to miss most about high school golf?
I’m definitely going to miss the team aspect and all the cool places we’ve been to. In a team you have your teammates around you who can pick you up, teammates to compete with, teammates to bounce back and forth with if you’re playing well, and you’re checking up on them and seeing how they’re doing. I feel as an individual you really have to set yourself apart from everyone else and really focus on your game only. In a team if you have a bad round your team can pick you up and get you to that next day thinking, ‘I got this.’ You can go out and shoot 10 strokes better. That’s what I love about a team, they can get you back in your groove where you need to be. Individually I sometimes think it’s harder, when you have a bad day, to get back in that steady groove.
What’s next for you?
I’ll be attending Bellevue College. It’s a great program, they play really nice courses and I know some of the kids on the team. I plan to go there to get my AA, then after that play at an (NCAA) Division I or Division II school and study business. I chose business because, while I want to go as far as I can get in competitive golf, after that I want to get into the golf industry.