Women's Golf Receives Preseason Accolades
TEMPE, Ariz. - Sun Devil Women's Golf has earned high praise in the preseason rankings, as the major publications have released their initial Top-25s.
Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye's squad returns plenty of firepower and adds a top-ranked recruit, giving them one of the most talented and deep rosters in the country. The national media has taken notice, as Arizona State is once again highly-regarded prior to the start of the campaign. The Sun Devils are ranked No. 8 by the WGCA in their initial poll, while GOLF Channel tabbed them as the preseason No. 11 team in the nation.
"The rankings in the Spring are what we care about most, but it is nice to earn the respect to start so high in the preseason polls," Coach Farr-Kaye remarked. "We will be tested early and often thanks to a tough schedule that will get us ready for the road to Grayhawk."
Sun Devil Women's Golf is not only receiving accolades as a team, as two of their individuals were also recognized in the preseason. Senior Alexandra Forsterling and sophomore Ashley Menne were each ranked in GOLF Channel's individual Top-40 preseason rankings. Forsterling came in at No. 30, the top-ranked Sun Devil. Menne was right behind her at No. 37, as Arizona State returns two of the best in the country.
With Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye and Associate Head Coach Michelle Estill in charge, the Maroon & Gold enjoyed another spectacular season. For the 18th time in program history, the program earned a Top-5 finish at the NCAA Women's Golf Championship. Arizona State earned a fifth-place finish by virtue of an exciting NCAA Championship run, making match play for the second time. Arizona State qualified as the No. 7 seed and advance to match play for the first time since winning the National Title in 2017. The 2021 postseason run represented the fourth-consecutive instance the team has qualified for Nationals under Farr-Kaye, and the 36th time overall.
Local product Ashley Menne proved to be one of the top freshman in the country, making tremendous strides during her debut season. It resulted in WGCA All-American Honorable Mention honors for Menne, becoming the first freshman All-American for the program since Olivia Mehaffey in 2017. Menne was incredible at her first NCAA Championship, finishing in fourth place, the highest finish by a Sun Devil since Monica Vaughn won the NCAA Title in 2017. She became the 23rd individual in the program since 1982 to finish in the Top-5, a list that includes current Associate Head Coach Michelle Estill. Menne carded a 65 (-7) in the third round, 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, helping her finish at -3 (285). She wasted no time making an impact during her collegiate career, shooting a 66 (-6) in only her second career round at the level.
Forsterling returns after brilliant offseason competing in Europe, where she won the German Women's Amateur and finished second at the European Amateur Championship. Last season, Forsterling started strong by splitting the Match in the Desert title with Linn Grant. She played as an individual in the Clover Cup, finishing tied for fifth, her best result of the season. A possible sign of peaking at the right time, she earned a Top-10 finish (T-8th) at the Silverado Showdown, before injuries cut her 2021 campaign short. She is fully healthy heading into this year and already has five Top-10 finishes on a decorated resume.
An indication of the program's insane depth Alexandra Forsterling and Ashley Menne were two of five Pac-12 All-Conference selections. Senior Alessandra Fanali is also returning to the Sun Devil lineup, bringing a history of success. She has appeared in a pair of NCAA Championships in her career and an extensive resume in International competition. She will also be joined by Amanda Linner, who gained valuable experience as a sophomore last year. Linner was a part of Arizona State's NCAA Championship lineup and will be a big factor once again this season.
Breyana Matthews has a year of college under her belt and looks to increase her role with the departure of a few key members of the program. Matthews appeared in three-straight tournaments for the Sun Devils, showing flashes of strong play. The highlight was when she shot a career-best 71 in the final round of the Clover Cup.
Arizona State earned the signature of Calynne Rosholt, the 2020 AIA Division II State Champion and a Top-400 amateur in the World. One of the most highly-pursued recruits in the country chose to stay in Arizona, where she has spent her last two years competing for Cactus Shadows in Scottsdale. Originally from Cedar Park, Texas, Rosholt has immense experience in junior tournaments, helping her reach as high as No. 278 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Grayhawk Golf Club provided a spectacular and competitive setting for the 2021 NCAA Golf Championships that was nearly unmatched by previous championship events. Arizona State Men's and Women's Golf hosted the event in Scottsdale, Arizona for the first of three seasons, running from 2021-2023. Golf Channel provided four days of live coverage of the event, with fans from all over the country attending in person. The hosting committee will get to do it all over again to end this season, with the 2022 Championships running May 20-June 1. Visit Grayhawk's website for more information on past and future NCAA Golf Championships.