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Women's Golf Secures No. 1 Signing Class

Nov 11, 2021

TEMPE, Ariz. - Sun Devil Women's Golf earned the signatures of four standout golfers as a part of a loaded 2022 class.

Arizona State's 2022 signing class of Grace Summerhays, Paula Schulz-Hanssen, Beth Coulter, and Patience Rhodes has been ranked No. 1 in the nation by Golf Channel. Each of the four members of the class bring elite resumes with them to Tempe, having already enjoyed plenty of junior and international success.

"It is an exciting day for us to sign the nation's No. 1 class," Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye remarked. "We couldn't have done it without the tireless work of Coach (Michelle) Estill and the support entire Sun Devil Athletics' community. Our staff is committed to maintaining the excellence of the Sun Devil Women's Golf program and this class will help us accomplish our goal."

Coming off a fifth-place finish by virtue of an exciting NCAA Championship run, making match play for the second time in program history, Sun Devil Women's Golf continues to build momentum. It was the 18th time the Maroon & Gold have finished in the Top-5 in the premiere event in women's collegiate golf. This year's team is in contention for another NCAA Championship berth, recently completing the Fall campaign on the Road to Grayhawk. For the second of a three-year run, Arizona State and Grayhawk Golf Club will host the NCAA Men's and Women's Golf Championships.

Not only is the present exciting for Sun Devil fans, the future is also very bright. This is the highest-ranked class inked ever by Coach Farr-Kaye and company, surpassing the 2019 class that included current Sun Devil Amanda Linner and two-time All-American Linn Grant. Four of the Top-21 prospects in the class will be taking their talents to Tempe, with no other program signing more than two of the Golf Channel Top-25. Here is a breakdown of each member from the 2022 class:

Grace Summerhays (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral High School)

The No. 19 overall recruit in the country, Grace Summerhays, will enroll immediately and join the Sun Devils in January, already with extensive experience in pressure situations. Summerhays began competitive golf at the age of 11 and at age 14, she shot a 74-72 on a 7,200-yard course to make match play in the Utah State Amateur in the men's competition. At age 15, Summerhays qualified for the 2019 U.S. Girl's Junior Open, and the following year she won the Utah PGA Junior Series Major Championship where she shot a 6-under-par 66. The 2020 Utah Amateur State Champion became the youngest (16) to accomplish the feat in the 114-year history of the event. She competed at Chaparral High School as a freshman, where she finished second in the state tournament to current Sun Devil Ashley Menne. ASU will now have three of the top-4 finishers from the 2018 AIA 6A State Championship. That year, she was also named a finalist for Arizona Republic Girls' Golfer of the Year. Summerhays has already competed in several Korn Ferry Tour qualifier events, attempting to earn a spot in professional events. In early 2021, she competed in a pre-qualifier for the Waste Management Phoenix Open where she shot a 76. She is the younger sister of Sun Devil Men's Golf's Preston Summerhays.

COACH'S TAKE: "We are thrilled to have Grace join us this coming January! She understands the rich history and tradition of our program and is ready to put her stamp on Sun Devil Women's Golf!"
 

Paula Schulz-Hanssen (St. Leon-Rot, Germany)

The No. 2 overall recruit in the country, Paula Schulz-Hanssen, signed with Sun Devil Women's Golf. Another top European golfer will come to Tempe, continuing the program's tradition of success in the area. Schulz-Hanssen will follow in the footsteps of 2017 National Champion Sophia Zeeb and current standout Alexandra Forsterling, joining the Sun Devil family from Germany. She is the 2020 European Ladies' Amateur Championship after opening with back-to-back rounds of 66 and holding off her competitor in a playoff to win the title. That tournament also included current Sun Devils Linn Grant, Amanda Linner, Alessandra Fanali, and Alexandra Forsterling. Schulz-Hanssen is the first Sun Devil signee to have won the top European Amateur title since Carlota Ciganda back in 2004. She is currently ranked No. 19 on WAGR and has been as high as No. 7, making her the top recruit in this category to sign with ASU since Olivia Mehaffey in 2015. She also advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2020 The Women's Amateur Championship and was a runner-up with Germany at the 2020 European Girls' Team Championships. Schulz-Hanssen finished in the top-10 of all but one of her six starts last year, which included a win at the Swiss International Ladies' Championship. Schulz-Hanssen most recently won the Junior Solheim Cup with Team Europe this year. Schulz-Hanssen competed with some of top amateurs in the world at the prestigious Augusta National Women's Amatuer, traveling to the United States for a chance to compete at famed Augusta National Golf Course.

COACH'S TAKE: "Paula has been a force to reckon with in European Junior  Girls' Golf for the last several years!  Paula has accumulated an impressive resume including invitations to the Augusta National Women's Amateur.   We are excited to have her join Sun Devil Golf and continue our outstanding tradition of winning!"

Beth Coulter (Ardkeen, Ireland/ Our Lady and St. Patrick's College Knock)

The No. 7 recruit in the country, Beth Coulter, is the second signee ranked in the Top-10 of the class. She most recently finished second in the Irish Women's Open Stroke Play Championship in October. Coulter won the Irish Girls Close Championship in July at the Tramore Golf Club after finishing second at the Irish Women's Close Championship a few weeks earlier. Coulter matched fellow class of 2022 signee Patience Rhodes in finishing 17th at the 2021 European Women's Amateur Championship. Additionally, Coulter also became the first Irish player since 1980 to reach the final of the R&A Girls Championship, where she finished runner-up this year. She is currently ranked in the Top-150 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and No. 22 in the European Golf Rankings.

COACH'S TAKE: "Beth has been an up and coming player in the UK for several years.  As a member of the Irish National Team, she has shown to be an integral part of the great tradition of great golfers in Northern Ireland. Her tenacity and toughness will be a great addition to our squad!!"

Patience Rhodes (England/ Bath Kingswood School)

The No. 21 overall recruit Patience Rhodes has been one of the most improved prospects in the class, emerging as a legit competitor on the European amateur scene over the past two years. She won the English Girls' Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship in July, showing poise down the stretch to claim a one-shot victory. Rhodes matched fellow class of 2022 signee Beth Coulter in finishing 17th at the 2021 European Women's Amateur Championship. She also has a couple recent Top-10 finishes, placing ninth in the Internationaux de France U21 competition held earlier in the month. Rhodes also earned a ninth-place finish in the R&A Girls Amateur Championship back in August Last summer, Rhodes claimed victory at the 2020 Memorial Norbierto Goizueta competition held in Spain. She is one of three signees in this class currently ranked in the Top-400 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and is sits at 34th in the European Golf Rankings.

COACH'S TAKE: "As a member of the England National Junior Team, Patience has shown she is ready to compete for the Sun Devil Women's Golf Team! Patience will be a great addition to our team in 2022!"

UP NEXT
The Sun Devils will enjoy a well-deserved two month break before beginning their Spring campaign. Arizona State won't compete again until they participate in The Match in the Desert, running Jan. 24-25. This will be the first time the Maroon & Gold will play in the state of Arizona, with the event taking place at Superstition Mountain Golf Club in Gold Canyon, Ariz. 

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 women's event runs May 20-25 at 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. 

HOW TO FOLLOW
More details on The Match in the Desert and the rest of the Spring season will be coming soon. Stay tuned to our social media platforms (@SunDevilWGolf) and our website (thesundevils.com) for the latest information and updates on the program.