Even with only one semester remaining in her collegiate career at the University of Arizona, Krystal Quihuis (Tucson, Arizona) found the disparity in joining the Symetra Tour at the start of the season and in the middle of the schedule to be too great.
She announced her decision to turn pro on Christmas Day and immediately set a list of goals both large and small, personal and professional. From sending thank you letters to obtaining her LPGA Tour card for 2019, spending time with her family and donating her time to teach girl’s golf in her home state. Quihuis’ attention to detail has already demonstrated that she belongs.
“I really love competition,” said Quihuis. “I’m experiencing all the same emotions that I felt graduating from high school—excited, scared, nervous, happy and ready to move forward with new goals and challenges I have set out for myself.”
In early December, Quihuis missed the cut at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament, but still finished 72 holes to earn full Symetra Tour status for 2018.
A three-week process to decide her future followed Q-School. It involved speaking with representatives of the LPGA, her parents Albert and Diana, as well as her personal swing coach Kene Bensel.
“It was a difficult decision to make,” Quihuis said. “I am thrilled and anxious to play on the Symetra Tour. It was very exciting to compete with several professionals at Q-School, but I want to continue to improve my golf game.”
Her Wildcats resumé is stacked with accomplishments including 14 top-10 finishes. She was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and a major reason Arizona was crowned Pac-12 champions that year. Then in her sophomore season, Quihuis captured her first collegiate victory at the Wildcat Invitational, helping propel her squad to the team title as well. Finally, as a junior, Quihuis was named an All-Pac 12 selection.
“I feel as if I have progressed to a higher level in my golf career, that I am at a new beginning stage and eager to learn from professional competition,” said Quihuis. “I think it will be very challenging, but I am ready to take my game to that next level.”
If you ask Quihuis, she’ll be quick to point out some of her best memories are what she was able to accomplish with her team. At the top of the list is the Pac-12 Championships and Wildcat Invitational titles.
However, she will also be the first to tell you about what it takes to be part of a prospering team. For a sport that can be so individualized, Quihuis quickly bought-in to the team-first philosophy instilled by the Arizona coaching staff in each of its players.
“The most difficult part about leaving school is not being with my teammates,” Quihuis said. “Through the years we all learned to help each other in different ways. Coaches taught us to become a team player and win as such, which was a great experience.”
With an array of goals in front of her, the primary one is still to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in general studies with an emphasis in sports and society. Quihuis will take classes online and at the University of Arizona to finish the few credits she has remaining.
Thanks to her extended family and Wildcats squad, Quihuis seems to have found the right path as she advances to the next step in her career.
“Her game is consistent and steady,” said University of Arizona women’s golf head coach Laura Ianello. “Krystal is a nice young lady who will be a good addition to the Symetra Tour. She always has a smile on her face that is infectious to all those around her.”