2021-22 Women's Golf Season Preview
As Sun Devil Women's Golf prepares to open the 2021-22 season, learn more about the team and schedule. The following is a comprehensive Sun Devil Women's Golf Season Preview. In a preseason session with the local and national media, Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye provided some of her thoughts and expectations for her team with the season around the corner.
"Well we're really excited to get the season started since we haven't played golf in the fall in two years," Coach Farr-Kaye remarked. "We can't wait to get back onto the road. Our first tournament is the ANNIKA Invitational this upcoming week and it's a big tournament. Nobody says no to ANNIKA and all the top teams in the country will be there."
"The fall counts 100%. Everybody seems to think it doesn't, we're like every sport, it counts. It counts for your ranking, individual ranking, team ranking, it is the same thing as playing a tournament week before the conference championship so we start off fast and we hit the ground running."
"We have the same goals every year, this team, no matter who has graduated or who is entering and that is to win and play well and be top five in the country," Coach Farr-Kaye added. "They know that and the goal is to really to work to keep them as loose and relaxed as possible all year long and not to put too much pressure on themselves."
Coach 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.
Arizona State faces another challenging campaign that will help prepare them for a National Championship run.
No stranger to constructing difficult schedules, Coach Farr-Kaye has once again designed a slate to ensure her team is ready to compete at the highest level. ASU has ten regular season events scheduled before the season wrapping up with the Pac-12 Conference Championship, NCAA Regionals, and NCAA Championship.
Coach Farr-Kaye provided her thoughts on the upcoming Fall schedule:
"We get to go back to Hawaii, for the Pac-12 Preview, so we're all really excited about that in November," That is always an amazing event, anytime you get the chance to play in Hawaii there is nothing like it."
"ANNIKA this fall is a fantastic tournament. Annika puts on the tournament herself with her foundation and has a large presence there which is awesome. She really is one of the best if not the best of all time in women's golf and she gives back and it's great to be a part of that."
"We are playing in a new event, an event we've never played in before with our men's team which is called the Barbara Nicklaus Cup in October at Murfield Village. For golfers, that's a golf course that would be on anyone's bucket list, so to get to play with our men's team for the first time, it's going to be really unique. Our men's team is really good this year, so it's going to be a lot of fun and really interesting coaching with the men's coaches and spending that amount of time with our men's team."
"Stanford in mid October is always great, beautiful golf course, amazing weather, and so we've got a really great Fall ahead of us that we are really looking forward to."
2021 SEASON IN REVIEW
For the 18th time in program history, Sun Devil Women's Golf 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. With Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye and Associate Head Coach Michelle Estill in charge, the Maroon & Gold enjoyed another spectacular season.
Arizona State earned a fifth-place finish by virtue of an exciting NCAA Championship run, making match play for the second time in program history. It is the 18th time the Maroon & Gold have finished in the Top-5 in the premiere event in women's collegiate golf. This earned Sun Devil Athletics 72.75 points in the Learfield IMG College Directors' Cup, making Women's Golf the fourth-highest grossing program in the entire department.
The 2021 postseason run represented the fourth-consecutive instance the team has qualified for Nationals under Farr-Kaye, and the 36th time overall. The Sun Devils are also one of just nine Division I Women's Golf teams to earn a spot at NCAA Regionals every year for the past 28 seasons.
The Sun Devil Women's Golf lineup will once again feature a decorated group, with every class represented. Seniors Alessandra Fanali and Alexandra Forsterling return with plenty of experience, providing necessary veteran leadership. Junior Amanda Linner will have the benefit of playing a Fall season for the first time in her career. Sophomore Ashley Menne is coming off a historic freshman campaign, shining on the biggest of stages. Sophomore Breyana Matthews made three appearances as a true freshman and is looking for more. The potential of freshman Calynne Rosholt has the coaching staff excited, as she becomes an immediate factor. Arizona State will be loaded 1-5, with any individual capable of winning a tournament. Coach Farr-Kaye recognizes the depth of this group.
"I think the line up will change every week, as far as who's playing one who's playing five," Farr-Kaye mentioned. "Any one of them can win this year and I think that's a great place to be."
"Where they are slotted will depend every week, it will be a little bit different. Everyone wants to play well and prove to themselves that they can do, which is really important. I would suggest that the number in front of the name is going to change on a week basis or a day to day basis even."
"The tougher they get with knowing that they could have a really good tournament and still be playing at 5 and not let that be an ego thing is really important. When you have really good teams that your number 5 player can play on almost any other team in the country and that's a really good problem to have. Once they really don't care where they play in the lineup and they just go and play really well then that's kind of like the secret sauce when you get to that point."
"To me, being a freshman or being a senior, they're all very experienced players and have all played at very high levels. It won't surprise me to see them play well or win at any given time."
Alessandra Fanali, Senior
- Three Top-10 finishes last season, including two Top-5 performances.
- 2021 First Team Pac-12 All-Conference selection.
- Played in all eight events last year, one of only two Sun Devils to do so.
- Never finished lower than 27th in the regular season, always ending in the top half of the field.
- In the lineup for all four of the Sun Devils' team championships in 2021.
- Best finish was fifth place at the Silverado Showdown, where she played out of the No. 1 slot in the lineup.
- Tabbed by Golfweek as a Third-Team All-American after a breakout sophomore season.
- Recognized as a WGCA Honorable Mention All-American in 2020.
- Five Top-20 finishes two seasons ago.
- Played her best golf at the end of the season, earning a tie for sixth place at the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational, the final tournament of 2020.
- Individual Champion of the Duel in the Desert (-4/68), helping lead the Sun Devils to victory over Denver and No. 16 UCLA while beating out 20 other golfers for the top spot.
- Recorded her first collegiate hole-in-one on the par-three 15th hole at the Royal Golf Club (Lake Elmo, MN) in the first round of the ANNIKA Intercollegiate.
- Back-to-back Top-15 finishes to start the season, a sign of the breakout sophomore season that was to come.
- Earned a 10th place finish at the Windy City Collegiate, moving-up 13 spots on the final day thanks to a 69 (-3).
- Two rounds in the 60s, including a team-best 68 (-4) in the first round of the ANNIKA Intercollegiate.
- 2020 & 2021 WGCA All-American Scholar
"Alessandra ended last year with a little bit of a back injury so she didn't play at Grayhawk the way she really wanted to and had been playing all year with it. She's doing much better and ready to go."
"Well, it's hard to believe that Alessandra and Alexandra are seniors. It certainly has gone very fast as it usually does and I'm excited for both of them. They're great friends and very close. They have lived together for three years and I think it's going to be a fun year for both of them. We're excited to watch their journey their senior year."
Alexandra Forsterling, Senior
- Competed in seven events in 2021, earning three Top-10 finishes.
- Shared the Match in the Desert Individual Title with teammate Linn Grant, after firing a 68 in the opening round.
- Earned a tie for 5th at the Clover Cup and tied for eighth at the Clover Cup.
- Won the 2021 German Girls Amateur Title and finished second at the European Amateur Championship.
- Eight Top-20 finishes to her name in 2020, including three Top-10's.
- Finished in a tie for eight at the Duel in the Desert, helping lead the Sun Devils to victory over Denver and No. 16 UCLA.
- Showed promise during a sophomore season in which she played in six of eight events.
- Earned back-to-back Top-20 finishes to start her 2019-20 season.
- Posted her second-highest career finish, tying for 11th at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate.
- Shot her fifth-career round in the 60s during the second day of the ANNIKA Intercollegiate.
- Consistent performer at the Windy City Collegiate, helping the Sun Devils finish five-under as a team.
- Ended under par at two tournaments in 2020 after not doing so in the previous season.
- 2020 & 2021 WGCA All-American Scholar.
- Represented Germany at the 2020 European Team Championships, helping them make a run to the match play finals for the first time since 2009. Went head-to-head with teammate Linn Grant and Sweden in the European Team Championship, finishing the event 2-1 in match play.
"Alexandra had a fantastic summer, she really played well. I really want her to build on that confidence and have her keep going so she can beat the best players in the world so it's exciting."
Amanda Linner, Junior
- Appeared in each of the eight events, one of only two Sun Devils to do so.
- Second on the team with four Top-10 finishes.
- Finished ninth at the Pac-12 Championship, starting the week off with a career-low 67 (-4).
- In the lineup for three of the team championships, including the Sun Devil Winter Classic where she finished sixth.
- Qualified and competed at the 2021 U.S. Women's Open, her first LPGA Major Championship appearance.
- 2021 WGCA All-American Scholar.
- Made an immediate impact in the Maroon & Gold, quickly earning a spot in the lineup as a mid-year addition.
- Displayed flashes of brilliance during an abbreviated freshman campaign.
- Competed in three tournaments and four events total, accumulating valuable experience as she looks forward to her second season in Tempe.
- Made her Sun Devil debut at the Duel in the Desert in January, helping Arizona State defeat Denver and No. 16 UCLA to capture the event title.
- Showed her development by earning a career-best finish (T-28th) at the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational, the final tournament of the season. Arizona State captured their second Team Championship at this event, the first with Linner in the lineup
- Participated in the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur back in 2019, one of five Sun Devils to play in the prestigious event
- Played in the 2018 AJGA's Thunderbird International Junior Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, the sight of the 2021-23 NCAA Championships.
"I think it will definitely benefit Amanda having a fall season. She's yet to see what a full year is like as a junior so there's a group of college athletes that their experience level is not the same as everyone else. There's nobody that works harder than Amanda Linner and nobody that wants it more. So, continuing to work with her and coach her and teach her certain things that can help her. She's got an amazing support staff in Sweden so we build on that and continue to see what she can do."
Ashley Menne, Sophomore
- Put together one of the best freshman seasons in program history, capping it with a fourth-place finish (-3/285) at the NCAA Championships.
- It was the highest finish by a Sun Devil at NCAA's since Monica Vaughn won the Individual Title back in 2017.
- 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.
- Carded a historic third round of the NCAA Championship, carding a 65 (-7) to help ASU get into position to qualify for Match Play.
- The 65 matched Grace Park's record for a Sun Devil at a NCAA Championship and was tied for the third-lowest round in the history of the Arizona State program.
- Won her matchup 2&1 with Duke's Jaravee Boonchant, the only Sun Devil to do so.
- 2021 WGCA All-American Honorable Mention selection, the first freshman since Olivia Mehaffey in 2017 to accomplish the feat.
- Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention selection, one of only three freshman to earn a spot on the team.
- Appeared in each of the final seven events of the regular season.
- Made her collegiate debut a memorable one, shooting a 66 (-6) in her second round at the Sun Devil Winter Classic.
- Finished in the Top-20 at six of seven events.
- 2020 & 2021 Women's State Amateur Stroke Play Champion, winning the titles at Grayhawk Golf Club, the home of the 2021-23 NCAA Championships.
- Three-time AIA Division I Individual State Champion and another succesful product of Xavier Prep.
"I just reminded her a couple days ago, 'Do you remember where you were a year ago?' And she was like; yeah I do, I've really come a long way. I always saw a tremendous amount in her, she has a tremendous amount of fight and how she is on the golf course. She just worked on her game hard and we were able to strengthen and condition her differently than she'd ever been before. It was really exciting and really fun to watch because I think a lot of people underestimated her and that kind of gives her a little chip on her shoulder.
"I don't think she's underestimated anymore, I told her she's at a new level, she's at an All-American level and her biggest enemy is putting too much pressure on herself. So we're continuing to try and get her to play in a really good state of mind where she's not worried about the future or focused on the past, but that she's really in the present focusing on that and executing the shot. We are really excited to watch her progress again this year as a sophomore."
Breyana Matthews, Sophomore
- Appeared in three events as a true freshman, playing in three consecutive tournaments in the middle of the season.
- Fired a 71 (-1) on the final day of the Clover Cup, her lowest career round.
- Earned a spot in the lineup for the Silverado Showdown.
- Played an integral role in the Gators winning two AIA Division I State Championship in 2017 & 2018.
- Finished in the Individual Top-15 at her final three State Championship events, highlighted by a third-place finish (+1/145) in 2018.
- Teamed up with future Sun Devil teammate Ashley Menne to help Xavier win the 2018 title by an astounding 33 strokes.
- Team's second-highest finisher at the 2019 State Championship, earning 14th place in a field of 73 golfers.
- One of three Gators to finish in the Top-15 at the 2017 tournament, which Xavier won by nine strokes.
- AZ Central tabbed her as a finalist for the Arizona High School Girls Golfer of the Year in 2018.
- Comes to Tempe with extensive experience in national and local tournaments, having competed in AJGA and JGAA events throughout her career.
- At the 2020 U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball Qualifier in Mission Hills, Kansas, she teamed up with her partner to finish with the lowest score (68) of anyone at the regional.
- Has compiled eight top-three finishes at JGAA events, including four victories.
- Won the 2019 Thunderbird Invitational-PING Jr Masters at her future collegiate home, Papago Golf Course.
Calynne Rosholt, Freshman
- 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 has reached as high as No. 278 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
- Ended her prep career on the perfect note, capturing the 2020 AIA Division II State Championship at Tucson National - Catalina Course.
- Blew away the field with a 141 (-5) over two rounds, winning the event by an impressive eight strokes.
- Set the tone with a brilliant 69 (-4) in the first round, the lowest score of any golfer at the tournament.
- She nearly led Cactus Shadows to the Team State Championships, as the Falcons finished in second-place by two strokes.
- In the 2019 AIA Division II State Championship, she went toe-to-toe with some of the state's top golfers.
- Carded a 138 (-4) to earn third place as a junior, only finishing behind two seniors.
- Played her best under pressure, shooting 66 (-5) in the deciding round, the lowest score of any golfer.
- The Falcons placed second in the Team Standings thanks to her efforts.
- Was named to the AZ Central All-Arizona High School Golf First Team and was a finalist for Female Golfer of the Year, an award that went to current Sun Devil Women's Golf sophomore Ashley Menne (four-time winner).
- Boasts an extensive background competing in junior tournaments, enjoying success since a young age.
- Most recently, she won the Thunderbird Invitational Ping Junior Masters Series Tournament hosted at Papago Golf Course, the home of Sun Devil Women's Golf. Fellow freshman Sun Devil Preston Summerhays of the Sun Devil Men's Golf program won on the men's side.
- She is a back-to-back winner at the Women's Southern Amateur (2018 & 2019), winning her first title at 15 years old.
- Finished second at the Under Armour/Jordan Speith Championship in July of 2020.
- Her mother, Lynne (Mikulas) Rosholt, played for LPGA Professional Hall of Fame inductee Linda Vollstedt at Arizona State. She was also a teammate of current Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye. Rosholt was a part of the 1990 team that captured the program's first NCAA Title. Rosholt received Pac-10 All-Conference Honorable Mention distinction in 1989.
"Calynne as a freshman she's trying to get everything figured out and where she's supposed to be and what she's supposed to be doing and I think she's a really good solid talent and I think that you know how quickly she can adjust to the different changes and the different golf courses that you know, seniors have an advantage wherever we go because most of the time we go to golf courses we've already played so they have several competitive rounds so it's always a little bit of an advantage for the upperclassmen. But, Calynne is a gamer, she's tough, she's mentally tough and that young lady is going to fight to the finish and that's one of the reasons I recruited her so it's going to be fun to watch her.
ROAD TO GRAYHAWK
In the second of a three-year run as host, Grayhawk Golf Club will welcome the top men's and women's collegiate teams to decide a national champion. The event will be contested on Grayhawk Golf Club's Raptor course, a par-72, 6,337-yard and broadcasted live on Golf Channel. Sun Devil fans showed their support last year and will have another chance to do so this year should Coach Farr-Kaye's squad qualify for the NCAA Championship. A veteran of NCAA Championship events, Farr-Kaye recognized that Grayhawk and Arizona State exceeded the standard set by previous hosts.
"We're really excited we got that extra year back so we get to do the three-year run. I think that the Grayhawk Golf Club and our event management staff in Sun Devil Athletics does a fantastic job. I've heard a lot of really good feedback from a lot of coaches and that it felt like a championship and that was the goal all along."
"We're really excited to have it two more years and Grayhawk is our second home and they're really good to us, almost as good to us as they are at Papago so we're very fortunate to have what we have here. The support of the entire golf community is phenomenal and we're real excited."
"You're going to be watching future pro's most certainly and both the women's championship and the men's championship so we hope to grow those numbers a little bit and that will probably be the only thing we need to focus on."