Two Sun Devils Finish in Top-15 at European Championships
SMLEDNIK, Slovenia – Two members of the Sun Devil Women's Golf team finished in the Top-15 at the 2020 European Amateur Championships, which wrapped up on Sunday morning.
Linn Grant and Alessandra Fanali enjoyed fantastic performances while representing their country and Sun Devil Women's Golf at the most prestigious individual amateur event on the continent. The duo proved they were two of the best among the 89-person field, which was filled with up-and-coming international talent.
This is the second consecutive year that both individuals made the cut at the European Championships. Grant finished in sixth place thanks to her 274 (-10), giving her another Top-10 finish at this event. In last year's edition, Grant finished in a tie for fifth. Fanali joined Grant in the Top-15 (T-13th) after carding a 278 (-6), improving her finish by 31 positions compared to the 2019 event.
Both Sun Devils were well below par for the tournament and showed flashes of brilliance throughout. Grant finished each of her four rounds under par, highlighted by a 67 (-4) on day three. Fanali started the tournament off strong with a 67 (-4) in the first round, one of only 10 golfers to reach that stroke total in the first 18 holes. Georgia's Paula Schulz-Hanssen (Germany) defeated Chloe Salort (Kent State) in a playoff to capture the crown of top female European amateur.
Fanali and Grant continue to gain significant international experience in the off-season, as they both also competed at the 2020 European Team Championships. Grant and Sweden took home their third-straight title, while Fanali and Italy finished in fifth-place with a 2-1 record. With Alexandra Forsterling representing Germany at the event, the Sun Devil trio combined to go 7-2 in their nine matches.
Individuals with Arizona State connections have enjoyed success at the European Amateur Championships, with this year being no different. Back in 2019, five Sun Devils competed in the event (Amanda Linner, Sofia Anokhina, and Raquel Olmos), with Linn Grant finishing in a tie for fifth. Fanali made the cut as well thanks to a solid first three rounds. LPGA star Carlota Ciganda (2009-11) gave everyone a glimpse of what was to come, as she was a two-time winner of the event before stepping foot onto campus into Tempe (2004, 2008). She also finished second in 2007. Another LPGA star turned Sun Devil performed well prior to being a Sun Devil, as Anna Nordqvist (2007-09) was the runner-up in 2007. All-American Linda Ericcson (1993-96) was the runner-up back in 1993 before going on to win three team National Championships at Arizona State.
Following All-American seasons, Grant and Fanali return to Tempe with plenty of major tournament experience under their belt. Thanks to Fanali's rise in the Women's Amateur Golf Rankings (No. 90), three Sun Devils are now in the Top-100, led by Grant (No. 6) and Mehaffey (No. 16).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
A loaded roster awaits Fanali and Grant when they return, as every member of the 2019-20 team comes back to Tempe. Four-time All-American and recent LPGA participant Olivia Mehaffey highlights the group, bringing an unprecedented resume. 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 and information on the Sun Devil Women's Golf program, follow our Twitter/Instagram accounts (@SunDevilWGolf), like our Facebook page (facebook.com/sundevilwgolf/), and visit our website (thesundevils.com).