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Stock Rising: Sun Devil Men's Golf Program Keeps on Getting Better

Oct 24, 2020
Chun An Yu is currently ranked No. 3 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

2020-21 Men's Golf Features/Links | Photo Gallery: Thunderbirds Golf Complex | Sun Devil Men's Golf Degrees Earned (1993-Present) | Sun Devil Men's Golf 2019-20 Statistics | Men's Golf All-Time Team Victories

by Christina Fankhanel, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications Class of 2021

The Sun Devil men's golf team's success can be attributed to a few things.

Hard work, dedication, head coach Matt Thurmond's leadership and the practice facility the Thunderbirds Golf Complex. 
Their improvement of performance is evident in their rankings that have jumped over the last several years. Players like Chun An Yu -- jumping from the No. 37 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking to third in a matter of four seasons -- and Cameron Sisk (No. 33).

Chun An Yu 37/3
Cameron Sisk 253/33
Blake Wagoner NR/224
Mason Andersen 1410/102

The Thunderbirds Golf Complex, the home of the Sun Devil golf teams, is celebrating its two year anniversary since the doors opened on Nov. 1, 2018

The facility was designed by Arizona State University alumnus and five-time PGA major championship winner, Phil Mickelson. Mickelson designed the facility with the intention for Sun Devils to have the ability practice any possible golf shot. 

The four-acre complex is complete with five practice greens, four practice bunkers, a three-acre fairway, and a wedge control target design.

"The actual practice facility is actually very scientific and how it is built to develop skill at a faster rate than the average practice facility," said Arizona State University Men's Golf Head Coach Matt Thurmond, the 2019 Pac-12 Coach of the Year.


The facility is equipped with food, workout equipment and entertainment. Thurmond said the team wants to get there early and wants to stay late, and when they are there all day the team is more likely to have a club in their hand.

Cameron Sisk, a junior student-athlete at ASU, describes the Thunderbirds Golf Complex -- or as the team coined it "The Bird" -- as a golfer's paradise and said the facility is one of the main reasons he chose to go to ASU.
"If you're out there every day there is no way that you cannot get better," said Sisk. 
The Thunderbirds Golf Complex is not the only key to the men's golf team's success. 
Thurmond is heading into his fifth season coaching at ASU preparing the team for offseason tournaments and the collegiate season.

Mason Anderson, a senior golfer at ASU, describes Thurmond's coaching style as keeping things pretty simple as he is a fan of going back to the basics, which he said is never a bad thing. He also praises Thurmond for the information and knowledge he provides.
"Coach Thurms is also a great guy to talk to about life and school. He's got great morals and he's got great character so it's awesome having him as a coach and friend," said Anderson.


Alex del Rey: He entered ASU at No. 340 and entered his senior year at No. 53.