Women's Golf and Grant Sweep Bruin Wave Titles
SOMIS, Calif. – For the first time in program history, Sun Devil Women's Golf claimed the team title at the Bruin Wave Invitational, hosted at The Saticoy Club the past three days.
It was all Maroon & Gold in Southern California this week, as Linn Grant captured Individual Medalists honors as well. Arizona State swept the tournament hardware in a competitive field made up of 16-teams and 82-golfers.
"I am very proud of the fight in this team," Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye exclaimed. "Linn had another great performance and win leading our team!"
The program claims it's 922nd team championship and Linn Grant becomes the 93rd individual medalist from Arizona State since 1982. Sun Devil Women's Golf has earned 12 individual titles and nine team titles in the six seasons under Missy Farr-Kaye. In their fifth appearance at the event, ASU secures the program's first win after previously finishing as the runner-up twice.
Arizona State finished strong over the final two days, carding two of the three lowest rounds of any team the field. That included a 305 to clinch the championship on Wednesday, the best round of the day. The Maroon & Gold won by a comfortable 14-stroke margin over Northwestern, finishing 20 or more strokes ahead of 12 of the 15 teams.
A short period of heavy rain interrupted the morning, but the Sun Devils handled the conditions extremely well. They finished 11 strokes better than Oregon and 17 strokes better than New Mexico, the two teams also in contention for the title heading into the final day.
"Our scores were quite high due to tough conditions," Coach Farr-Kaye reflected. "Although we struggled coming down the stretch, so did every other team. We still have some things to work on and will continue to work to get better every tournament!"
"I think this was probably the toughest course I've ever played and the conditions didn't make it easier," Linn Grant added. "Therefore, I think we all did a great job with handling ourselves out there and getting the job done."
With hole locations preventing many birdie opportunities, the Sun Devils managed to pace the field with 35 birdies, eight more than any other team. Coach Farr-Kaye's team finished an incredible 14 strokes lower than the next best team on par four holes and also topped the field in stroke average on par five opportunities.
Linn Grant continues to add to her incredible collegiate resume, having now won the Individual Championship at four different events in her brief career. Dating back to a victory at the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational last season, Grant has won or shared individual medalist honors at four consecutive events, accomplishing an incredible feat. Three of those events had ten or more teams, which puts her in elite company in program history. Grant's run of three-straight individual titles is the first since Sun Devil Athletics Hall of Famer Wendy Ward's historic 1995 run. Ward claimed the PING/ASU Invitational, Pac-10 Conference Championship, and the NCAA West Regional Championship.
"I think every victory is important regardless of course or weather," Grant mentioned. "But I think this tournament was more a question of patience and not being knocked over to hard when things wasn't going the way I was expecting it to."
She finished one stroke ahead of Northwestern's Irene Kim, who could not catch Grant on the final day. This is the second consecutive Bruin Wave Invitational in which Arizona State competed and a Sun Devil won, as Grant now joins Olivia Mehaffey in claiming the trophy. Not only did Grant finish with the best stroke average of anyone on par four holes, she also paced the field on par five opportunities.
"I love to win and I just live the feeling of being in contention of winning," Grant commented. "I think it's a great way of making up for all the lost opportunities of 2020. Getting the chance to celebrate the team win is such a good feeling. Knowing that we made it together as a team always makes winning special. I think we are just a great group with a lot of potential and this is hopefully just the start of more wins to come."
|1||Linn Grant||Arizona State||220|
|T7||Alessandra Fanali||Arizona State||230|
Alessandra Fanali joined Grant in earning a spot in the Top-10, recording her fourth career Top-10 finish. Fanali moved up six spots and into a tie for seventh thanks to a solid finish. She did her best work on par five opportunities, finishing in the Top-5 in stroke average. Her 10 birdies were tied for the second-most, trailing only Linn Grant.
Making her debut as a counting score in the Arizona State lineup, Ashley Menne was part of a tournament championship team. She had the third-best score of any Sun Devil, delivering another solid performance and finishing tied for 12th.
Amanda Linner ended the tournament strong, carding a 74 on the final day, matching the lowest score recorded by anyone in the field on Wednesday. Thanks to her outstanding play, Linner leaped 22 spots and into the Top-20. Over the past two days, Linner has moved up a total of 44 spots to end in a tie for 19th.
Olivia Mehaffey also moved up in the standings for the second straight day, giving the Sun Devils five of the Top-30 finishers. Mehaffey had the most pars on the team and tied for the third most of anyone in the field. Individual participant Alexandra Forsterling also finished in the top-half of the leaderboard in the 82-golfer field.
Sun Devil Women's Golf returns to Tempe and will immediately turn their attention to the next tournament, the Clover Cup. The event runs March 12-14 at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona. Arizona State is joined by Arizona, Cincinnati, Clemson, Colorado, Colorado State, Florida International, Grand Canyon, Houston, Oklahoma, TCU, and UNLV. More details about the tournament will be revealed in the coming week.
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