Mehaffey Leads ASU at NCAA Championship
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Sun Devil Women's Golf is in the coveted Top-15 after the first round of the NCAA Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club.
Arizona State (+12/300) is in 13th place, battling through tricky wind conditions to finish strong on the back nine. Olivia Mehaffey is in the Top-20 after the initial day of her fourth NCAA Championship, enjoying a consistent round that ended on a high note. ANNIKA Award Final Watch List member and WGCA Player of the Year candidate Linn Grant had bright spots in her debut as the No. 1-ranked golfer, sitting comfortably in the top half of the field.
"The conditions were a little challenging this afternoon, but we held on nicely," Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye remarked. "Proud of the fight of my team and how they finished strong."
After recording only one birdie on the front nine, the Sun Devils found their stride on the back nine. Five birdies, including two on the final hole, put the Maroon & Gold in a solid position heading into the final two days before the field is cut to 15 teams.
Mehaffey led by example today as the veteran of the group, setting the tone with a bogey-free front nine. She was able to sink her first birdie of the day on 18, giving her momentum heading into tomorrow's round. Mehaffey carded a 73 (+1), good enough for a tie for 19th. She is only four strokes off the lead with plenty of golf left.
"Olivia Mehaffey is an incredible Sun Devil and human," Coach Farr-Kaye observed. "She has been a huge presence on our team and we are lucky she came back for events like this."
Linn Grant was the second-best finishing Sun Devil, ending in a tie for 52nd. She is looking to build off birdies on 7 and 16. One stroke behind her are Ashley Menne and Amanda Linner, who both had a birdie on the back nine.
Texas leads the way in the team standings after posting a 289 (+1), leading Oregon by one stroke. Four of the top five teams in the standings began their rounds in the morning, as the conditions proved to be challenging in the afternoon. Stanford's Rachel Heck is the overall leader at 69 (-3).
Serving as the host institution, the Sun Devils found themselves surrounded by supporters throughout the afternoon, with Sun Devil Nation showing up strong. Attendance will be free for the rest of the tournament, making it a prime opportunity to cheer on your Sun Devils are they battle to move up the leaderboard.
"We had a lot of fans out there today, which was great," Coach Farr-Kaye added. "Grayhawk has done a wonderful job getting this place ready."
Arizona State continues the NCAA Championship tomorrow, with the second round beginning at 7:36 am MST. A Sun Devil will tee-off every 11 minutes on hole ten, as the Maroon & Gold will once again be paired with Georgia and Baylor. Here is a look at how the Sun Devils will lineup:
|PAIRING||Arizona State, Georgia, Baylor|
|7:36 A.M.||Alessandra Fanali|
|7:47 A.M.||Amanda Linner|
|7:58 A.M.||Ashley Menne|
|8:09 A.M.||Linn Grant|
|8:20 A.M.||Olivia Mehaffey|
Missy Farr-Kaye and the Sun Devils are no strangers to the challenge that the NCAA Championship presents. This is the fourth-consecutive time the team has qualified for nationals under Farr-Kaye, and the 36th time overall. After capturing the 2017 national championship, Farr-Kaye added to her already impressive resume. She has now won a national title at ASU as a player (1990), assistant coach (2009), and head coach (2017). Coach Farr-Kaye and assistant coach Michelle Estill, both Sun Devil alums, played under legendary head coach Linda Vollstedt. Vollstedt led the program to a total of six NCAA championship in the 1990's. Veteran Olivia Mehaffey was a member of the 2017 team that defeated Northwestern to earn the program's eighth crown.
The Sun Devil Women's Golf program has done something unmatched by any other NCAA Division I team in their sport – they have won eight NCAA National Championships, including three straight, five in six years, and six within nine years (1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2009, 2017). ASU also has a nation-leading six individual NCAA champions including Danielle Ammaccapane (1985), Emilee Klein (1994), Kristel Mourgue d'Algue (1995), Grace Park (1999), Azahara Munoz (2008), and Monica Vaughn (2017). Prior to women's sports competing in the NCAA, the Sun Devils had four other national champions including Cathy Gaughan (1970), Jane Bastanchury-Booth (1969), Carol Sorenson (1962), and Joanna Gunderson-Carner (1960).
Arizona State is one of six teams to have both the women's and men's teams qualifying for NCAA championships in 2021. The Sun Devils are joined by Florida State, Georgia, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Wake Forest. ASU is also the only school to have won a National Title in both men's and women's golf in the same season (1990).
NCAA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS
|San Jose State||3|
The championship format consists of 24 teams and 12 individuals completing 54 holes of stroke play (Friday-Sunday). Following the first three rounds, the top-15 teams along with the top nine individuals not on an advancing team proceed to the final day of stroke play Monday 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 NCAA Championship on Tuesday & Wednesday.
Monday's fourth round of stroke play, as well as Tuesday and Wednesday's match play, will broadcast live on the Golf Channel. See below for the Golf Channel broadcast schedule throughout the championships (all times Eastern Time). The Golf Channel can also be viewed online at www.golfchannel.com or on the Golf Channel app.
GOLF CHANNEL LIVE COVERAGE SCHEDULE
Monday, May 24 – 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. (Live final round, individual stroke play coverage)
Tuesday, May 25 – 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. (Live quarterfinals coverage)
Tuesday, May 25 – 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. (Live semifinals coverage)
Wednesday, May 26 – 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. (Live finals, match play coverage)
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).