Mehaffey Competing with Fellow Sun Devils at LPGA Major
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – The Sun Devil Women's Golf program continues to be featured on the LPGA Tour, as five more individuals with Arizona State ties are competing in the upcoming ANA Inspiration event.
The second LPGA major of the season runs Sept. 10-13 at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The 49th edition of this prestigious event was postponed from its traditional March date and will now be played without spectators. The field will be battling challenging elements, as the area has experienced severe heat over the past few days with low air quality due nearby fires.
In a repeat of the AIG Women's British Open in August, Sun Devil Women's Golf senior Olivia Mehaffey will have the opportunity to play in a professional event. She is once again joined by four fellow Sun Devils, LPGA Tour regulars Anna Nordqvist (2007-09), Carlota Ciganda (2009-11), Azahara Munoz (2006-09), and Linnea Strom (2016-17). This represents Mehaffey's fifth appearance in a professional event, having previously played in the 2018 U.S. Women's Open Championship and the 2016, 2017, and 2020 Women's British Open.
"I'm so excited to compete in the ANA this week with our other Sun Devil alumni," Olivia Mehaffey remarked. "It is always an honor to represent ASU and my country at the highest level and I look forward to the challenge."
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— Sun Devil W. Golf (@SunDevilWGolf) September 9, 2020
Mehaffey and the rest of the Sun Devils will go head-to-head with some of the best the LPGA Tour has to offer. Four of the Top-5 and 17 of the Top-25 ranked players in the world will appear at the event. The credentials of the field are impressive, as the group has combined to win 24 major titles. Mehaffey will be one of six amateurs at the event thanks to receiving a sponsor exemption. She is joined by Kaitlyn Papp (Texas), Gabriela Ruffels (USC), Angelina Ye (Stanford), as the only current collegiate golfers to earn their way into the event.
Four of the five Sun Devils have a morning tee-time, as the field will begin the first round at 7:15 am (PST). Sun Devil Women's Golf senior Olivia Mehaffey kicks things off for the Sun Devils, starting her round at 7:24 am on the first hole. Azahara Munoz will be the final Sun Devil to tee-off, scheduled for a 12:51 pm start. Here is a full breakdown of where and when the Sun Devil five will begin their day:
|1||Olivia Mehaffey||7:24 AM|
|10||Anna Nordqvist||8:09 AM|
|1||Linnea Strom||8:45 AM|
|10||Carlota Ciganda||8:45 AM|
|1||Azahara Munoz||12:51 PM|
Live coverage of the ANA Inspiration will be provided by Golf Channel and Sky Sports. The first round starts on Thursday, with Golf Channel kick-starting their broadcast at 9 am (MST). The timing remains the same in the second round, with coverage beginning at 9 am on Friday. The third round and fourth round broadcast will shift to 11 am start. Here is a look at the Golf Channel schedule:
|Thursday, Sept. 10||First Round||9 AM-1 PM; 4-6 PM (PST)|
|Friday, Sept. 11||Second Round||9 AM-1 PM; 4-6 PM (PST)|
|Saturday, Sept. 12||Third Round||11:00 AM-3:00 PM (PST)|
|Sunday, Sept. 13||Final Round||11:00 AM-3:00 PM (PST)|
The five representing Sun Devil Women's Golf look to continue the program's recent success on the LPGA Tour. At the NW Arkansas Championship at the end of August, three of the Top-11 and four of the Top-28 finishers played their college golf at Arizona State. Anna Nordqvist (2007-09) is the top finishing Sun Devil for the second straight weekend, putting together an incredible three-round performance. She finished in second place after shooting a 195 (-18), taking home over $200,000 for her efforts. Missy Farr-Kaye's program has a proven track record of producing talent that is ready for the next level.
MORE ABOUT MEHAFFEY
The Belfast, Ireland native is already one of the most decorated golfers in the history of the Sun Devil Women's Golf program. Mehaffey recently completed her fourth season in Tempe with a historic achievement. She became just the third four-time All-American in the history of the Arizona State Women's Golf program after being selected to the Honorable Mention team by the WGCA last month. She joined an exclusive list of Sun Devils to have been named All-Americans after each of their four years, one that includes Sun Devil Athletics Hall of Famer Kellee Booth (1995-98) and current LPGA Tour standout Azahara Munoz (2006-09). Mehaffey received Honorable Mention honors as a freshman and senior, in addition to her Second Team designation after both her sophomore and junior seasons.
In addition to the WGCA recognition, Mehaffey was also one of three Sun Devils to also earn All-American distinction by Golfweek, the third consecutive year the senior accomplished the feat. Due to the unique circumstances, Mehaffey has a chance to claim a record that may never be matched. She has the potential to be the first five-time All-American not only in program history, but in NCAA history.
Despite this year being cut short, Mehaffey still managed to reach several career milestones in the process. She finished second at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge and sixth at the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational, pushing her career Top-10 finishes total to 20. Not only did she have 20 Top-10 finishes, she also carded 20 rounds in the 60s in her career, one of the Top-25 totals in NCAA history. Her 11 rounds at or under par this season give her 65 in her career, putting her in the Top-10 in NCAA record book. Mehaffey's 72.74 stroke average also puts her in the NCAA's Top-25 all-time. The reigning Pac-12 Conference Individual Medalist finished in the Top-40 of the final Golfstat Individual Rankings in each of the past four years. She has the opportunity to add to these totals and move up in the NCAA career record book during her fifth and final season of eligibility.
Mehaffey's international resume is just as impressive as her collegiate one. Not only has she been able to take advantage of several professional opportunities recently, the star amateur has also been recruited to compete in International competition. Mehaffey was selected to represent Team Europe along with teammate Linn Grant at the 2020 Palmer Cup, which will now take place in December. She also was invited to the Augusta National Women's Amateur for the second consecutive year (Tournament moved to 2021). The extensive international experience and success have helped Mehaffey thrive in pressure situations and prepare for the professional level.
A loaded roster awaits Mehaffey when she eventually comes back to ASU, as every member of the 2019-20 team returns to Tempe. With highly-touted freshmen Ashley Menne and Breyana Matthews are added to the fold, the Sun Devils will boast one of the most talented and deep rosters in the country. Under the direction of three-time National Champion Missy Farr-Kaye and newly-promoted Associate Head Coach Michelle Estill, the team will receive the proper coaching and guidance that it takes to succeed at the highest level. Fans of the Sun Devil Women's Golf program have a lot to be excited about.
HOW TO FOLLOW
For the latest updates on Olivia Mehaffey's performance at the ANA Inspiration, follow our Twitter/Instagram accounts (@SunDevilWGolf) and like our Facebook page (facebook.com/sundevilwgolf/). Visit the Championship Central page and leaderboard for additional information on the tournament. Check out the @ANAinspiration Instagram/Twitter page for more content.