Grayhawk Bound: Women's Golf to NCAA Championship
COLUMBUS, OH – Sun Devil Women's Golf will be advancing to the NCAA Championship for the 36th time in program history.
Arizona State showed why they were selected as the No. 2 seed in the regional and considered one of the contenders for the National Championship. The 288 (E) posted by the Maroon & Gold matched the lowest round of the day, with the five Sun Devils each coming through at key moments down the stretch.
"What a great day for our team," Coach Farr-Kaye exclaimed. "We experienced tough weather and tough conditions. Finishing strong is important to us and this team did that very well today!"
Thanks to a second-place finish, Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye's team comfortably advances to the NCAA Championship, hosted by Arizona State at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona from May 21-26.
"We are thrilled to be hosting with Grayhawk next week and welcome all the teams that qualified to Scottsdale," Coach Farr-Kaye added.
This is the fourth consecutive championship that ASU has advanced under Missy Farr-Kaye, who was at the helm when the 2017 team captured the program's eighth National Championship.
Starting the day close to the cut line, the Sun Devils put together a fantastic effort. Not only did they move up three spots as a team into a tie for second with top seed Duke, it came in clutch fashion via an outstanding finish.
The team finished three-under over the final seven holes, including ten birdies and an eagle. ASU came through with their best round of the tournament on the final day, securing their spot in Scottsdale. It is the ninth time the program has finished in the Top-2 of a regional in the 28-year history of the format.
1 Georgia 289 288 288 865 +1
T2 Duke 287 298 295 880 +16
T2 Arizona State 291 301 288 880 +16
Linn Grant proved why she is considered one of the leading candidates for National Player of the Year, finishing tied for second at a stacked event featuring five of the Top-25 individuals in the Golfstat Player Rankings. She saved her best round for last, carding a 70 (-2) to move up eight spots and into second. Jenny Bae of Georgia took home individual medalist honors.
Grant caught fire in the middle of the round and helped the Sun Devils make up ground, recording five birdies in a seven-hole stretch. The No. 4-ranked player has now finished in the top-five at all six events she has competed in this season.
1 Jenny Bae Georgia 71 68 73 212 -4
T2 Linn Grant Arizona State 71 74 70 215 -1
T2 Caley McGinty Kent State 70 73 72 215 -1
T2 Monet Chun Michigan 70 70 75 215 -1
Olivia Mehaffey and Ashley Menne also delivered clutch performances, especially on the back nine. Menne recorded her first collegiate eagle on 12 and would birdie two of her last three holes, while Mehaffey went bogey-free and two-under on her back nine. The duo each shot a 71 (-1) and moved up 14 spots on the leaderboard into a tie for 17th.
Amanda Linner and Alessandra Fanali each recorded two birdies on the back nine to improve the Sun Devils standing. Both individuals finished in the top half of the 96-golfer field.
Arizona State is one of 24 teams that moves on to the 2021 NCAA Women's Golf Championship. The championship format consists of all 24 teams and 12 individuals completing 54 holes of stroke play, and then the top 15 teams along with the top nine individuals not on an advancing team competing for one additional day of stroke play to determine the top eight teams for match play competition and the 72-hole stroke play individual champion. The top eight teams then compete in match play for the team national championship.
The Sun Devils are joined by No. 5 seed Georgia, who won Columbus Regional as a team. Other teams to qualify from the regional included No. 1 Duke, No. 4 Kent State, No. 7 Michigan, and No. 10 Kentucky.
It is worth noting that the NCAA Regionals routinely knock out good program. Even with the top-six teams advancing due to weather at the Baton Rouge Regional, four teams will be staying home who were ranked in the Golfstat Top-25 coming into this week. Top-six seeded teams staying home include No. 11 Virginia, No. 17 Arkansas, No. 23 Texas Tech, and No. 24 Vanderbilt.
"Regionals is never easy, even for high seeds," Coach Farr-Kaye observed. "We are so proud of the grit and determination this team showed this week."
For the second straight edition, six teams from the Pac-12 will appear in the championship round, the second-most of any conference. The SEC leads the way with seven teams, with a total of six conferences represented in Scottsdale.
SEC (7): Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, South Carolina
Pac-12 (6): Arizona State, Arizona, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, USC
ACC (5): Duke, Florida State, Maryland, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
Big 12 (3): Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas
Big Ten (2): Michigan, Michigan State
MAC (1): Kent State
HOW TO FOLLOW
Golf Channel will have live coverage May 24-26, the final three days of the NCAA Championship. Stayed tuned for more details on the upcoming NCAA Women's Golf Championship, hosted by Arizona State at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale. Visit the Championship Central webpage.
For the latest updates and information on 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).