Ryan Magnusson: An inspiring rise to prospective golf stardom

Ryan Magnusson shown teeing off during a match at the Meadow Club on Sept. 28 vs Redwood.

Naomi Betz

Ryan Magnusson shown teeing off during a match at the Meadow Club on Sept. 28 vs Redwood.

By Hayden Rhodes, Archie Williams High School

Archie Williams High School (AWHS) super sophomore, Ryan Magnusson, has risen to the top of the Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) girls golf pedestal. This past fall, she ranked seventh in Marin County and earned Girls Golf First Team honors. The coveted award acknowledges the top female high school golfers in Marin County and is decided by the MCAL golf coaches.

Ryan became the first AWHS student-athlete to receive Girls Golf First Team recognition since Kylie Rollins in 2017. Ryan’s 6.0 handicap and touch around the greens propelled her into the North Coast Section (NCS) tournament, which hosts the top 90 players in NCS. However, Ryan’s rise to golfing success is different from the rest; her hard work and determination on the links are a product from her strenuous battle with cancer.

In 2015, at the age of nine, Ryan was diagnosed with osteosarcoma bone cancer, which is most often found in long arm and leg bones in children and young adults. Ryan’s osteosarcoma had developed in her right leg and forced her out of high-impact sports. After chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, and a new metal prosthesis leg, Ryan picked up a new sport: golf.

“After being diagnosed, I went through chemotherapy and multiple surgeries. My treatment lasted nine months. I was able to stay positive due to support from my friends, family, and great doctors,” Ryan said.

Since her remission, Ryan has been playing golf for five years. She has thrived playing for the AWHS golf team, making many friends and posting impressive scores. In her final three rounds, she shot a team-leading 37, 34, and 41.

“I have had a really positive experience playing for the AWHS golf team. The coach and the girls are great, we go out, try our best, and have fun,” Ryan said.

Ryan Magnusson practices putting for upcoming season at Mclnnis Park Golf Center. (provided by Ryan Magnusson)

Girls golf coach, Andre Demian, holds high praise for the young golf prodigy. He has been coaching Ryan for the past two years.

“Ryan is a super relaxed and dedicated golfer, she has become one of the top golfers in the county league as a sophomore. Coaching Ryan is a treat; she is supportable and inquisitive. Her future in the game is bright,” Demian said.

Demian has five years of experience as the boys and girls golf coach at AWHS and has engendered enthusiasm for the game of golf in many teenagers.

Ryan’s successful golf career did not sprout up overnight; the talented golfer spends lots of time at the driving range and putting greens in order to maintain her high level of play.

“I love seeing my practice turn into results out on the course, it keeps me motivated to get better,” Ryan said.

Ryan, only 15, has an admirable list of accomplishments and accolades that few come close to in a lifetime. She beat cancer and in the midst of it all, found a new love and passion for the game of golf. She is looking to play golf in college and has been cancer-free since 2016.

This story was originally published on The Pitch on March 22, 2022.