Teeing off for a better life: Lake Oswego's Tya Seth  


Winning is fun, but giving never loses. Lake Oswego High School senior Tya Seth is teeing it up for a better life.

Golf can be a natural mood enhancer or mental drainer.

“Golf truly shows your inner personality and brings out everything in you… the best, the worst, all of that,” said Seth.

The 18-year-old has taken the good of the game for a better future.

“Golf has really opened doors and it has changed the person that I am and has changed my outlook on life,” Seth said.

And she carries a measure of humility.

“I am not the best golfer right now, I don’t shoot the lowest scores but I think that I do show a lot of potential,” she said.

Her potential grew after constantly coming up short against her brothers in other sports.

“I decided that I was going to be good at something and I wanted to be just as successful as them,” she said.

Seth exudes confidence and inspiration to her fellow Lakers, even the head coach.

“She has challenged me to be a better coach, a better role model and I think she has challenged all of our girls to be better stewards of the game,” said head coach Daniel Kirkham.

Not born into the game, but it's her baby now. Seth is giving back to The First Tee of Greater Portland, the Children’s Course in Gladstone always accepted her for who she was.

“They really welcomed me with open arms because at home sometimes I really didn't feel wanted and The First Tee really made me feel as though I was important and made sure I understood my worth,” she said.

Her volunteer hours have her in rare company, joining Marcus Mariota as a Play it Forward Athlete of the Year at the Oregon Sports Awards last summer.

“It brings me so many tears of joy just to see that U kind of started in a very low time and I am now able to just be comfortable with who I am, because before, I didn't feel I was really wanted by anyone,” Seth said.

She was abandoned at age 1.

“I have an older brother. He is two years old than I am, and I was a surprise child so my biological mother and father weren't expecting me and when they found out I was a girl they kind of weren't really crazy about having another kid,” she said.

Taken in by her aunt and uncle, Seth was not clued in to her adoption past until the age of nine, when she found The First Tee.

“We feel as though boys have so much more power and so much more potential over women and that's not the case as we see today. Women can really empower youth, empower themselves and everyone around them,” said Seth.

She credits a shift in positivity, both on and off the greens, during a round of playing Pebble Beach during the First Tee Open – oceanside alongside senior tour pro, Rob Spittle.

“It really just changed my view on golf and my view on life to just really look at things in the best light possible,” Seth said.

That light has blazed a path to the Bengals, as Seth signed on to a full-ride scholarship to learn and play at Idaho State University.

“I couldn't be happier,” she said. “I feel like everything I've put into golf I've finally got out of it.”

Seth wants to go into communications and corporate public relations at ISU.

She and the Lakers will compete this week at the Three Rivers League district meet.

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