Golfers Allysha Mae Mateo and Spencer Dunaway both found themselves leaving Hawaii to play their collegiate careers at BYU.
Mateo didn’t start pursuing golf until she was 8. She remembers being signed up for group tennis lessons as a kid. It wasn’t until a boy in her tennis group showed up with a shiny golf medal that he won in a tournament, which irritated Mateo, that she considered taking up golf.
She decided to switch her focus and began to take on golf with her father’s help. Over time, she met Dunaway and the two teamed up for practices and training.
“Hawaii is kind of a small place, but we’re from the same island.” Dunaway said.
The first time that Mateo and Dunaway met was at the Asia Pacific Junior Cup, where Mateo and Dunaway were put on team Hawaii and played as partners against team Japan.
Team Hawaii would lose to Japan, but Dunaway recalled that he and Mateo played well and started their golf bond there.
Dunaway went on to receive many offers, but BYU, Arizona and Arizona State were on the top of his list. Though he received a lot of interest, it was BYU’s recruiting trip that stood out among the rest.
“I had a lot of offers. But I just felt that BYU had the best program. When I was taking official visits, they offered to bring my mom up with me when other colleges recruiting me only were flying me up,” Dunaway said.
Dunaway was impressed that BYU offered to fly him and his mom up for an official visit.
“My mom loved that. My mom loved how BYU was very family oriented, and she just fell in love with everything about Utah and BYU, and just really wanted me to come here,” Dunaway said.
Before Dunaway signed his national letter of intent at the Asia Pacific Junior Cup, Mateo had never even heard about BYU.
Mateo later would do her research about the school and decide she was interested in pursuing her collegiate golf career at BYU. She reached out to coach Carrie Roberts about joining the women’s golf team.
Mateo was given a spot, reuniting her and Dunaway on the course.