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Sun Devils Ready For Copper Cup II in Maricopa Jan. 16-17

Jan 13, 2022

By Marco Salas, Sun Devil Communications Student Intern

As everyone returns from break, the Sun Devil men's golf program gets ready to face in-state rival Arizona in the second annual Coppers Cup at the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Course in Maricopa on Sunday-Monday (Jan. 16-17). The Sun Devils will look to retain the cup after last year's finish, where the Sun Devils made a dramatic comeback.
If you're not familiar with the Copper Cup, it is a relatively new tournament, started last year by Brady Wilson, the General Manager of Southern Dunes. The format of the Copper Cup is similar to the Ryder Cup, where it is team vs. team, unlike other tournaments where it's an individual event. According to Wilson, this format allows both teams to get ready for a similar environment when they're in the NCAA tournament in May.
"The other component is college golf teams play a variety of tournaments but almost all of them are stroke play or medal play where the players count how many times they hit the ball. If you fast forward to the final eight teams at the NCAA Championship at Grayhawk in June, the final eight teams play match play. So, the cool thing about this tournament is it gives ASU and Arizona a chance to play a little bit of match play that they can rely on should they be the final eight teams in the national tournament."
The idea for the Copper Cup came about last year when the Pac-12 canceled fall sports. Golf, which has tournaments in both fall and spring, lost a semester's worth of competition and Wilson thought it would be a great idea to make up the competition by creating an event for both teams.
"So last year, we started the Copper Cup, because the schools had extra competition dates that they could use that they didn't normally have because they lost all of the fall schedules. I knew that everyone was just trying to find as many competition dates as they could in the spring, so I approached both coaches to see if they'd be interested in it. It was cool to have it start from an idea to reality that it was last year and the proof of that is that they both wanted to do it again," Wilson said.
The experience for the players will be just as exciting for the fans at the Southern Dunes because fans will have the opportunity to play around on the same course the players play.
"There is a select amount of tee times that are going to be available each day to play between the groups because the teams play in the morning and then again in the afternoon. "It's the ultimate day for golfers. You watch golf, play golf, watch golf again, and then do it again the next day!" Wilson said
As this tournament hits the ground running, Wilson hopes to see other programs follow with their version of the Copper Cup.
"As a fan of college golf, I would love to see other great college golf programs play their rival, in the same type of format [of the Copper Cup]. It'd be cool if there were a bunch of Copper Cups across the country. I'm proud of the fact that we may have stumbled onto something and created a model that everybody in college golf may want to try to replicate at some point."