Women's Golf, Grant in Second after Day One of PING/ASU Invitational
By Griffin Fabits, Sun Devil Athletics Media Relations Intern
PHOENIX, Ariz. - The No. 8 Sun Devils welcomed 14 teams to Papago Golf Club for the 48th PING/ASU Invitational. After a busy day one, which featured a field of six Top-25 teams and a brief rain delay, the Sun Devils find themselves near the top of the leaderboard.
Arizona State (-3/285) tussled with No. 4 Baylor and No. 34 Stanford as the afternoon wore on, trading spots atop the leaderboard before the Sun Devils ended their day in second place, just one stroke behind the Cardinal (-4/284).
"Overall we had a solid performance today," Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye observed. "We left a couple shots out there that we are going to work on getting back tomorrow and go a little lower. Tweak our plan a little for the second day. Linn had a nice stretch of four consecutive birdies, which was great. Ashley turned in a one-under and helped us stay within a stroke of the lead."
Three Sun Devils sit in the top-15 of the standings, headlined by the country's No. 4 ranked player, Linn Grant.
Grant had a terrific first round, propelled by a run of four consecutive birdies on the back nine. Grant, holding the No. 1 spot and eyeing her fifth consecutive tournament title, was four-under on the day (68) and currently trails Stanford's Rachel Heck by one stroke for the lead.
Ashley Menne, in the starting lineup for the third straight tournament, finished the day with a 71 (-1). Menne birdied three holes on the front nine, then played a near-flawless back nine when she parred eight holes. The freshman currently sits in the top-10 of a jam-packed leaderboard.
Alessandra Fanali had a consistent showing for the Sun Devils out of the No. 5 spot, shooting an even 72 on the day, thanks to an eight-hole stretch in which she was two-under par.
Fanali added four total birdies, three of which came on the back nine.
Slotted into the No. 3 spot in the lineup, Alexandra Fosterling ended her day at two-over par (74), after shooting three-over on the final nine holes. Fosterling had a solid start to her round, birdieing back-to-back holes on the front nine before finishing with a total of 13 pars.
Olivia Mehaffey had an up-and-down round, shooting even on the front nine but then stumbling to three-over on the back to finish with a 75. She battled back and ended the round with two pars in her last three holes.
Outside of the Sun Devils' starting lineup, both Amanda Linner and Breyana Matthews are competing as individuals this weekend. Linner was steady and consistent, getting off to a one-under start on the front nine before giving back a pair of strokes on the back. She carded four birdies en route to a finish of 73 (+1).
Matthews, like Linner, had a balanced round. She made 10 pars and added a birdie, but was plagued by seven bogeys. She finished at six-over par (78).
The Sun Devils, fresh off of two consecutive tournament victories, are in contention for a third after the opening round in Phoenix.
"We are in a good spot, but we are going to work on moving up the leaderboard and get a little deeper under par," Coach Farr-Kaye added. "That is the goal for the second day of the tournament. We were fortunate to get in before our odd little weather delay, but the weather should be great the rest of the weekend. Fans come on out and watch us this weekend."
SECOND ROUND TEE TIMES
HOLE 1: Linn Grant – 10:06 AM MST
HOLE 1: Ashley Menne – 9:57 AM MST
HOLE 1: Alessandra Fanali – 9:48 AM MST
HOLE 1: Alexandra Forsterling – 9:39 AM MST
HOLE 1: Olivia Mehaffey – 9:30 AM MST
HOLE 10: Amanda Linner (i) – 9:30 AM MST
HOLE 10: Breyana Matthews (i) – 9:48 AM MST
HOW TO FOLLOW
Live scoring will be provided by Golfstat at the following link. For the latest updates and information on the PING.ASU Invitational 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).