International UNCW golfer teeing it up through the challenges of Covid-19

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)–College students across the country are being impacted by the coronavirus, but it has hit international students exceptionally hard.

UNCW women’s golf senior Thao My Nguyen is most at home when she’s sinking putts on the golf course, but the recent covid-19 outbreak took away her final season. The pandemic took away the game she has been playing for years, but also the opportunity to return home to her native country of Vietnam this summer.

“With all of this I don’t think that I can go back this summer because they’re still closing the airport at home,”says Nguyen. “I don’t think it’s safe to travel right now. So, I just have to get through this summer here.”

It was a decision that was backed by her family overseas nearly 9,000 miles away.

“My parents are definitely worried about me,”said Nguyen. “They would rather have me stay here and social distancing here than traveling 30 hours through airports.”

It will be the UNCW seniors’ first summer spent in the United States, but the big life decisions for her didn’t stop there. She had to decided if she would wrap up her collegiate golf career or return for one more year in the Seahawk colors with the recent NCAA waiver.

“My coach from UNCW, Coach Ho said she wanted me to come back and play for an extra year,”says Nguyen. “So, I decided to stay for another year and add another concentration in school. I’m going out there next year to compete.”

Nguyen has had to deal with a multiple hurricanes and a pandemic during her fours years at UNCW, but even with all those setbacks she’s positive and ready to tee it up this fall.

“Hopefully this will end soon and then I can get back to practicing, training,”says Nguyen.  “So, I can be ready for the fall with my team.”


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