Menne's Record Leads ASU at NCAA Championship
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Sun Devil Women's Golf proved to be one of the best teams on the third day of the NCAA Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club.
Arizona State (+13/877) jumped up five spots into sixth place, the second biggest rise of the day. It was the third-best round of any team, coming at a valuable time. Most importantly, the Maroon & Gold secured a spot in the Top-15, advancing to the final day of stroke play.
"We have improved each day and look forward to continuing that trend tomorrow," Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye remarked. "This is a competitive environment and some really good teams will get left out, so we need to keep getting better to ensure we are in that Top-8 tomorrow."
The story of the day was the play of freshman Ashley Menne, who put together a historic round. She carded a 65 (-7), matching Grace Park's record for a Sun Devil at a NCAA Championship. It was tied for the third-lowest round in the history of the Arizona State program.
"Ashley has so much potential and she showed a glimpse of what she is capable of today," Coach Farr-Kaye expressed after the round. "Really proud of her performance. She didn't get too high or too low, just remained steady and gave us a huge boost. Can't wait to watch her compete for the individual title."
Menne sits in a tie for third, only seven strokes back of overall leader Stanford's Rachel Heck and two strokes back of second place after matching the lowest round of anyone in the field to this point. She avoided any bogeys and took advantage of her birdie opportunities, finishing with seven. She moved up 37 spots on the leaderboard, the highest jump of any individual. Menne is looking to become the Sun Devils' highest finisher since Monica Vaughn won the National Championship in 2017.
"From the start of the day I was hitting irons really well, so that allowed me to make most of the greens," Ashley Menne reflected following her 65. "My putting was really on today. I made a lot of birdie putts both inside 10 feet and outside of 20 feet. Everything was going in, which was a nice feeling."
Linn Grant had another consistent day, finishing at 73 (+1) and in a tie for 34th. She heard the roar from the crowd on 18 after a fantastic birdie putt, her first of the day. Grant finished strong, birdieing two of the last three holes, including in front of a gathering of Sun Devil Nation on nine.
Olivia Mehaffey sits one stroke behind her after a 75 (+3), picking up steam on the back nine with a pair of birdies. She is one of three Sun Devils in the Top-50 of the 132-golfer field. Alessandra Fanali had her best round of the tournament, firing a 73 (+1) to move up 17 spots on the leaderboard. Amanda Linner finished her day extremely strong, with birdies on two of the final three holes. The deep lineup is a reason why the Sun Devils are in sixth place and in contention for a coveted spot in the Top-8, which would advance them to Match Play.
"We are trying to take it one day at a time, but we accomplished what we wanted to today," Coach Farr-Kaye added. "It is going to take even better play tomorrow to solidify our spot. The other teams will be motivated to make up ground, so we will be ready to play well."
Stanford leads the way in the team standings after posting a 277 (-11), leading the field by 20 strokes. Arizona State trails fifth-place by only two strokes and is five strokes above the cut line. Watch the dramatic action unfold on GOLF Channel, with live coverage running from 2-6 PM MST. Track the scores live with Golfstat at the following link.
"It is not going to be easy to stay in that Top-8," Coach Farr-Kaye warned. "After a few days on the course, we have learned a lot and feel more comfortable in this atmosphere. I think you still haven't seen the best of the Sun Devils yet."
Arizona State continues the NCAA Championship tomorrow, with the final round of stroke play beginning at 10:32 am MST. A Sun Devil will tee-off every 11 minutes on hole one, as the Maroon & Gold will with Ole Miss and Texas. Here is a look at how the Sun Devils will lineup:
|PAIRING||Arizona State, Ole Miss, Texas|
|10:32 A.M.||Alessandra Fanali|
|10:43 A.M.||Amanda Linner|
|10:54 A.M.||Olivia Mehaffey|
|11:05 A.M.||Linn Grant|
|11:16 A.M.||Ashley Menne|
Serving as the host institution, the Sun Devils found themselves surrounded by fans yet again, with Sun Devil Nation showing up strong. Grayhawk Golf Club has received rave reviews from Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye and company.
"This is a fantastic course that has done a wonderful job hosting this event," Ashley Menne mentioned. "Arizona has such a great golf community and we appreciate everyone's support."
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)
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|
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).