Sun Devil Winter Classic: Day One Recap
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Sun Devil Women's Golf hosted the first round of the Sun Devil Winter Classic on Monday at Talking Stick Golf Club.
Arizona State (-2/286) is firmly in contention for the top spot after 18 holes, trailing overall leader Oregon (-3/285) by just one stroke. Three Sun Devil golfers currently sit in the Top-10, all within three strokes of the individual lead.
"Today was a solid start to our spring season," Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye observed. "We did a lot of things well today and look forward to competing the next 2 days."
Ten of the top teams in the country from the nation's strongest conference convened at Talking Stick Golf Club for a monumental occasion. Not only did it reunite a majority of the Pac-12 teams for the first time since the 2019-20 season was cut short, it signified the start of the Spring tournament slate.
"We are so grateful to Talking Stick Golf Resort for hosting our tournament this week in Scottsdale," Coach Farr-Kaye exclaimed.
Linn Grant (-2/70) was the lowest-finishing Sun Devil, earning a three-way tie for fourth place and only one stroke off the lead.
Talking Stick Golf Club offers a variety of wildlife sightings, including ground squirrels, geese, snakes, and the occasional coyote. There were also reports circulating of an eagle on the fifth hole. Turns out it was just the outstanding play of Linn Grant, who completed the par-five opportunity in only three strokes to record her first eagle of the season. Grant finished the front nine at two-under and birdied two of her final three holes, giving her momentum heading into tomorrow's round.
Right on her heels is fellow Swede Amanda Linner (-1/71), who enjoyed arguably her best round as a Sun Devil. Linner carded a career-low 71, which was good enough to tie for sixth after 18 holes. She handled par-five opportunities extremely well, recording birdies on three of the four holes. Her strong effort on the front nine in which she birdied three of her first seven holes set the tone for what would be a excellent start to her tournament.
Joining Grant and Linner in the Top-10 is Alessandra Fanali (E/72), who's 14 pars were the second-most in the field. She avoided mistakes a majority of the day to remain within striking distance of the overall leader. Her success on par-four holes was a big reason why, as she had the second-best stroke average of any golfer on those occasions. Fanali continues to improve, now boasting a 71.8 stroke average over her past 12 rounds dating back to last season, after posting a 72.8 stroke average in her previous 12 rounds.
Playing the No. 1 slot in the lineup for the first-time in her career, Alexandra Forsterling showed flashes of why she earned the honor in qualification. Forsterling remained steady during her round of 73 (+1), recording two birdies on her way to a tie for 17th after day one.
Raquel Olmos made her first appearance this season and the 33rd of her Sun Devil career. She was extremely consistent throughout the day, pacing the field with 15 pars. Olmos (+2/74) finished second among the four individuals from three different programs that are competing in addition to the regular five in the lineup. Olmos played a bogey-free, one-under back nine to climb up the leaderboard and put herself in a Top-25 position.
Talented freshman Ashley Menne made her highly-anticipated collegiate debut, competing as an individual at the Sun Devil Winter Classic. Menne recorded her first birdie as a Sun Devil on the par-four fourth hole. She finished her round with a steady five-hole run at even.
The seven Sun Devils will tee-off all throughout the morning tomorrow, as they complete the second of three rounds for the tournament championship. Ashley Menne is the first one to tee-off, followed by Raquel Olmos. Their five teammates wait until mid-morning to begin their rounds. Here is how Arizona State will tee-off in round two:
Ashley Menne – 7:45 AM
Raquel Olmos – 7:54 AM
Olivia Mehaffey – 9:42 AM
Alexandra Forsterling – 9:51 AM
Alessandra Fanali – 10:00 AM
Amanda Linner – 10:09 AM
Linn Grant – 10:18 AM
HOW TO FOLLOW
For the latest updates and information on the Sun Devil Winter Classic and 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).