Athlete of the Month: Phoebe Qian


Photo courtesy of @dawgssports on Instagram.

Phoebe Qian and her teamates pose with their state finalist trophy and medals. She played a key role in their great finished as she shot a 77 in her final round.

By Michael Demske, Assistant News Editor

For someone trying to find WCHS senior Phoebe Qian, a good place to look for her would be at a local golf course. Qian is one of the most well-respected golfers on the WCHS golf team and played a key role in the team’s success this year. 

Qian began golfing in fifth grade, after her parents decided to take her for a lesson. Starting golf at such a young age, Qian developed a routine that allowed her to be successful.

“If I am working on my swing I’ll probably spend an hour and a half at the range and I usually putt after that because I love to practice putting,” Qian said. “With the short game I like to mostly work on rhythm and contact.”

Qian, a four-year varsity letter recipient, knows that the success of her teammates is equally, if not more important than her own. 

“High school golf is a team sport so I play the best I can every day, because I know and trust my teammates will also be playing their best,” Qian said. “They have never failed to have my back.”

Qian has seen major success on the golf course, helping the 2019 team to a state championship and leading the 2021 team to a second-place finish.

“As a golfer, Phoebe has one of the strongest mentalities on the course. She doesn’t let any negative thoughts or bad shots affect the rest of her game,” WCHS junior Collin Chen, a member of the golf team, said. “That is why she is one of the most consistent players on the team.”

Qian’s tireless work ethic and winning mentality won over her coaches and teammates from the start. Her team-first attitude and positive mindset have been a crucial part to the development of other players. 

“Every practice or match, Phoebe will be sure to remind me that she beat me which makes me work hard,” Chen said. “When she sees me performing better she acknowledges it and encourages me to keep it up.”

A prime example of these qualities came in a stellar performance by Qian at the Maryland state semifinals and finals, held at the University of Maryland Golf Course from Oct. 25 through Oct. 27. This is the pinnacle of high school golfers from around the state.

“I love competing at the state championship. It is always a little surreal whenever I arrive at the UMD course and I see golfers from the whole state buzzing around,” Qian said. “This year was especially emotional because it’s my last state championship and it marks the end of the season and high school golf forever.”

Qian had a subpar semifinals performance shooting a 82, only three strokes under the cutline (the maximum a golfer can shoot without being eliminated from the competition). The rest of the team did not perform well either, but they played well enough to sneak into the team state finals, getting the last of eight spots.

“After the first day of states, most of us were feeling down for not playing our best,” Chen said.  “But Phoebe kept our spirits alive and stayed hopeful that we could make up for it the second day.”

Make up for it they did as WCHS shot up to second-place behind a 77 by Qian, the fourth-best women’s score of the day. 

Off to college in the fall of next year, Phoebe will not leave golf, or its memories, in the past. She hopes to play for her college’s club team and surround herself with people that share the same love of the game.

“Bond with your team, make your teammates some of your best friends,” Qian said. “Most importantly, play to have fun. Churchill golf has always been amazing and I am confident the next generation will find that true.”