Mehaffey's School Record Leads Women's Golf to Clover Cup Title
MESA, AZ - Sun Devil Women's Golf shot a tournament-best 277 -- with Olivia Mehaffey's school-record 62 leading the way -- to come back from six strokes down after the second round to win the Clover Cup by three over Arizona.
ASU shot 16-under 848 (288-283-277) to top second-round leader Arizona (281-284-286=851), with Mehaffey's historic round sparking the late charge.
"Wow, what a day," Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye exclaimed. "That was really amazing to watch. I am so proud of this team and their fight. We had a great duel out there against U of A. To walk away with a W over University of Arizona, we are always proud of that."
Linn Grant continued to add to her incredible collegiate resume, having now won the individual championship at five 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 five consecutive events, accomplishing an incredible feat. She shot 69 each day to finish at 9-under 207.
Four 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 entering the Clover Cup was the first since Sun Devil Athletics Hall of Famer Wendy Ward's historic 1995 run, when she claimed the PING/ASU Invitational, Pac-10 Conference Championship, and the NCAA West Regional Championship en route to the Sun Devil undefeated season.
"So happy for Linn and her accomplishment in winning and birdieing the last hole to win outright for her fourth in-a-row," Coach Farr-Kaye reflected.
Mehaffey almost had a comeback of her own after shooting 75-71 in her first two rounds, she fired a 62 (-10) to finish at 8-under 208. Already one of the most decorated golfers in program history, Mehaffey adds another accolade to her impressive resume. Not only did she break the program record, she beat it by two strokes, with 64's previously carded by Monica Vaughn at the 2017 PING/ASU Invitational and Louise Stahle at the 2005 Wildcat Invitational.
"It feels incredible, it's very special to be part of this amazing program," Olivia Mehaffey said in reference to breaking the record. "Part of the reason I came to ASU was because of our legacy so to break a record is a cool thing to do with so many incredible alumni."
She found herself tied with her teammate for the overall lead as Grant headed to 18, with Mehaffey observing adjacent to the green. With ice in her veins, Grant calmly sunk a short birdie putt after a perfect set up with a chip, claiming the tournament title. One of the first to embrace her following the round was Mehaffey, as competitors quickly turned to friends.
"Olivia's 62 is a program record and she has been working so hard," Coach Farr-Kaye remarked. "To see her break through like that today was such a joy."
"I haven't felt I have been able to contribute as much as I would have liked to this team," Mehaffey mentioned. "So to help the team sneak a win today is great. Very happy we managed to get it done today."
It was a total team effort that allowed Arizona State to make up ground, as they finished 11-under as a group, four strokes better than anyone else. Three of the Top-5 finishers were Sun Devils and five of the Top-20 donned the Maroon & Gold, as the Sun Devils proved to be the class of the field.
"Everybody contributed to this win," Coach Farr-Kaye mentioned. "Across the board and top to bottom, just really good stuff. This team is really doing well."
Freshman Ashley Menne continued the impressive start to her Sun Devil career, recording another Top-15 finish. To earn a tie for 13th, she had to finish under par in each of her last two rounds, including a 71 (-1) today. Alessandra Fanali joined Menne in the Top-20, ending in a tie for 17th. Fanali's strong score through two days were a reason why Arizona State remained in striking distance entering today.
"Ashley played really solid. Amanda had some good things this week. Alessandra may have struggled a little bit today but she kept us in it the past few days," Coach Farr-Kaye added.
Playing as an individual, Alexandra Forsterling was a threat to win the individual title, at one point sitting in a tie with her teammate Grant a top the leaderboard. After three consecutive rounds under par, she finished in a tie for fifth, by far the highest individual finisher. Fellow individual Breyana Matthews capped her collegiate debut with a strong finish, shooting 32 during the second half of her round. She went 4-under over her final 11 holes, helping her finish with a 71 (-1).
"Lexi played so well as an individual getting a tie for fifth. Breyana with a great round, a 71 today which was awesome." Coach Farr-Kaye said.
"Its a great team, very talented and impressive," Olivia Mehaffey commented. "Everyone is very supportive and encouraging. That definitely makes the journey very enjoyable."
Olivia Mehaffey and Ashley Menne return to Longbow Golf Club next weekend (Mar. 18-21) for the Carlisle Open, a Symetra Tour event. Both individuals received sponsor's invites to compete in the professional event, testing their skills for at least another 54 holes. The next tournament for Arizona State is the third and final regular season event that the Maroon & Gold will host. The annual PING/ASU Invitational will take place Mar. 26-28 at Papago Golf Club, the home of Sun Devil Men's and Women's Golf, and will once again feature an elite field. Stay tuned for details on the tournament.
"It is a marathon, not a sprint yet," Coach Farr-Kaye pointed out after the round. "We have a few more tournaments to go before postseason. We are taking it one event at a time and are excited to be hosting at Papago in a week-and-a-half. We are thrilled to be able to do that and looking forward to it."
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