Men's Golf Earns Amer Ari Title; David Puig Earns Medalist Honors (Again)
The Sun Devil men's golf team brought six golfers to the 30th Amer Ari Intercollegiate this week hoping to earn its third title in the 30-year tournament, as it had done in 2015 and 1995.
One of them was great. The others were really good, and as a result the Sun Devils earned the team title by 12 strokes over USC at the Hapuna Golf Course held in Waimea.
Sophomore David Puig notched his second straight individual honor -- he won the Southwestern Invitational Jan. 25-27 -- with a 13-under 203 (67-68-68), topping teammate Blake Wagoner (63-71-73) and USC's Sixian Guo (68-68-71) who both shot 9-under 207.
SUN DEVIL AMER ARI INDIVIDUAL TITLES
David Puig, 2021
Todd Demsey, 1995
Chris Hanell, 1996
Jesper Kennegard, 2009
Wagoner was playing as an individual, so his score didn't count in the team score, but ASU got excellent play from Ryggs Johnston (8-under 208), Mason Andersen (6-under 210), Cameron Sisk (5-under 211) and Chun An Yu (3-under 313). No Sun Devil finished outside the top 14.
"This was pretty special win for us," said head coach Matt Thurmond. "Last week (losing the lead at the Southwestern Invitational) was kind of traumatic. I don't know if it's quite as traumatic as people might think, but we really felt like we were the best team there and [we] just slipped up at the end. It got away from us. But we were so excited to be able to compete again quickly and especially in a place that we love. It was fun to have a new course, the Hapuna course is really nice. When the wind came up, it played tough, but we take pride in finishing. That is something we talk about all the time, not just on the golf course, but in everything we do. And we did not finish last week, so to be able to get back and go play this week and have an opportunity again to win and seal the deal was cool."
"We had a pretty big hiccough on hole six with a triple [bogey] by Kevin [Yu] and [quadruple bogey] by Cam [Sisk], and that set us back. Ryggs also double bogeyed seven, but we played number eight, the par five, at 6-under par, with four birdies and an eagle, and that made a huge difference for us. It got us right back on track. Every time we had difficulty, every time that USC got close or we were challenged, we responded really well, and I think that was important for us."
It was a balanced effort, as Puig led the tournament in par-3 scoring (-4) and par-4 scoring (-5), while Cameron Sisk led the tournament in birdies (18) and Ryggs Johnston did the same with two eagles.
"Puig is playing extremely well. He's putting well, he's playing with great emotion, energy, and confidence. [It's] fun to see him win again and see his potential. Also, [it was a] really nice performance by Blake Wagoner. It's hard to win wire-to-wire, and he got really close, but an excellent week for him, really excellent week [for the whole team]. Nobody finished worse than 14th place, nice week for Ryggs as well. It's nice to come home from Hawaii as the winners."
— Sun Devil Men's Golf (@sundevilmgolf) February 5, 2021
It marked the 13th team title in Coach Matt Thurmond's five years at ASU, and the 18th time a Sun Devil had won an individual title in his tenure. Puig became the first Sun Devil to win back-to-back tournaments since Jared du Toit won the Prestige and Amer Ari in February of 2017. The 37-under is eighth-best in school history in the Golfstat era (1993-94 to present) and the second-best outside Arizona, behind only the 40-under 824 at the 2015 Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational.
TEAM BEST VS. PAR THREE-ROUND TOURNAMENT SCORE (1993-94 TO PRESENT UPDATED 2/5/21)
-50/814, 2018 National Invitational (Tucson)
-43/821, 2004 ASU Thunderbird Invitational (Tempe)
-41/811, 2017 ASU Thunderbird Invitational (Tempe)
-40/824, 2015 Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational (Hawaii)
-40/824, 2007 NCAA West Regional (Tempe)
-40/824, 2003 ASU Thunderbird Invitational (Tempe)
-38/802, 2019 Maui Jim Intercollegiate (Scottsdale)
-37/827, 2021 Amer Ari Intercollegiate (Waimea, HI)
-35/817, 2014 ASU Thunderbird Invitational (Tempe)
-34/818, 2018 Arizona Intercollegiate (Tucson)
AMER ARI INTERCOLLEGIATE
HAPUNA GOLF COURSE/WAIMEA, HAWAI'I
HOSTS: HAWAI'I AND UH-HILO
FEB. 2-4, 2021
PAR 72/6,875 YARDS/51 PLAYERS
FINAL TEAM LEADERBOARD
1. Arizona State 275-275-277=827/-37
2. USC 280-278-281=839/-25
T3. Oregon State 289-286-279=854/-10
T3. Georgia Tech 274-301-279=854/-10
5. San Jose State 287-289-294=870/+6
6. Washington 285-305-288=878/+14
7. Hawaii-Hilo 306-331-298=935/+71
8. Hawaii 302-324-312=938/+74
FINAL INDIVIDUAL LEADERS/SUN DEVIL SCORES
1. David Puig, ASU 67-68-68=203/-13
T2. Blake Wagoner, ASU (Ind.) 63-71-73=207/-9
T2. Sixian Guo, USC 68-68-71=207/-9
4. Ryggs Johnston, ASU 71-68-69=208/-8
T7. Mason Andersen, ASU 70-70-70=210/-6
T10. Cameron Sisk, ASU 67-69-75=211/-5
13. Chun An Yu, ASU 71-72-70=213/-3
TOURNAMENT HISTORY: ASU returned for the 30th annual Hawaii tournament, as it took home team honors in 2015 and 1995 while Todd Demsey (1995), Chris Hanell (1996), Jesper Kennegard (2009) earned individual medalist honors. In 2017 the squad finished fourth behind champion Texas Tech, USC and Oregon. ASU made the push to fourth after being tied for seventh to start the day by posting the best final round of any team in the field. Freshman Chun (Kevin) An Yu had an impressive first collegiate tournament, as the twelfth ranked amateur in the world finished six-under and tied for 20th.
LAST TIME OUT: Sophomore David Puig, playing in just his fifth collegiate stroke play tournament, easily won the Southwestern Invitational (Jan. 25-27) held at North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village for his first collegiate victory with a tournament record nine-stroke win. Only two players shot par for the tournament, and Puig (70-66-70) won the event by nine strokes with a 10-under 206 over Pepperdine's Joshua McCarthey (72-73-70). Puig posted a tournament-best 37 pars and added 11 birdies and one eagle. Per Golfstat, Christian Cavaliers from Boston College (-16) is the last to win a tournament by nine strokes when he did it at the Wildcat Invitational in October of 2019. The Sun Devils shot 13-over 877 (292-282-303) but couldn't hold onto a five-shot lead and finished three shots behind San Diego State, who finished at 10-over 874.
LOTS OF WINNERS: David Puig's title at the 2021 Southwest Collegiate and now the Amer Ari gives Coach Thurmond 18 Sun Devil individual tournament titles (includes co-winners) in his five years by nine swingers. Others to win tournaments in Coach Thurmond's time at ASU include Mason Andersen, Alex del Rey (four times), Cameron Sisk (twice), Chun An Yu (three times), Jared du Toit (twice), Ki Taek Lee, James Leow (twice) and Jino Sohn.
LAST YEAR IN THIS TOURNAMENT: Mason Andersen of Chandler tied for first at the 123-player Amer Ari Invitational in Waikoloa, Hawaii, with a final round and career-best 65 Saturday. He shot a 13-under 203 (69-69-65) that included a bogey-free and seven-birdie final round. Pepperdine's William Mouw won a playoff, but the effort by Andersen was impressive. ASU finished third in the strong field as Pepperdine took home team honors with a 39-under 825 (281-274-270).
"That bogey-free round by Mason today was something special," said Sun Devil head coach Matt Thurmond. "Despite all the great things, his simple par on 16 was my favorite. He showed some really improved mental and emotional maturity. I'm so happy for him and his performance this week."
2015 VICTORY IN THIS TOURNAMENT: Arizona State men's golf brought home its second consecutive team title of the season at the 2015 Amer Ari Invitational. The Sun Devils rallied in the final round to edge out No. 20 Washington, No. 15 USC, and No. 3 Oregon.