Historic Round Catapults Women's Golf to Commanding Lead
PHOENIX, Ariz. - Sun Devil Women's Golf delivered a performance that reset the program record books in the second round of the PING/ASU Invitational Saturday.
Arizona State (-21/555) has built a 17 stroke lead over second place No. 2 Oregon and a 19 stroke lead over fourth place No. 1 Stanford, showing exciting potential along the way. The Sun Devils shot a 275 (-13) today, which was the fourth-lowest round by a team in program history. Excellent play from the entire lineup was highlighted by Ashley Menne and Alexandra Forsterling, who sit in first and second place respectively in the individual standings. ASU has five of the Top-18 golfers in the standings after round two, dominating their competition after finishing with the best round for the second straight day.
"We put it all together as a team and played absolutely beautiful," Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye remarked. "It was one of the best rounds we have had in a very long time. That was great to watch."
Maroon and Gold was spotted all over Papago Golf Club once again today, as the Sun Devil fans showed their support. Come out to cheer on Arizona State tomorrow as they make a run at their 21st PING/ASU Invitational title. Several individual Sun Devils are in contention for medalist honors, looking to become the 17th member of the program to win the PING/ASU Invitational individual title.
"A big part of golf is believing you can do it," Coach Farr-Kaye observed. "They are starting to believe that at any time they can beat any team and that is a really powerful characteristic for a team come postseason time."
Arizona State put together a complete round from start to finish, wasting no time lowering their score on the front nine. Calynne Rosholt and Ashley Menne both avoided bogeys and recorded multiple birdies to lead the way. Amanda Linner, Alessandra Fanali, and Alexandra Forsterling all finished even, setting up for solid back nine efforts. The Sun Devils enjoyed an incredible amount of success on the ninth hole, as all seven birdied the par-five opportunity.
The back nine might have arguably been the best stretch of golf in the 2021-22 season for the five counting Sun Devils. The team finished nine-under, with four avoiding a bogey over the final nine holes. Alessandra Fanali led the way with a four-under effort, leading to a 68 (-4) and huge jump in the standings. Ashley Menne followed shortly behind going three-under, establishing the overall lead with a 67 (-5). Grace Summerhays finished two-under over her final 10 holes, including a bogey-free back nine. Calynne Rosholt was extremely consistent in hitting all pars, helping her continue to climb the leaderboard.
- The Sun Devils shot a 275 (-13), the fourth-lowest total in program history
- It is the lowest since they shot a 272 (-16) at the 2017 NCAA Regionals
- Four of the Top-5 lowest rounds in program history have come in the Missy Farr-Kaye era
- ASU had the lowest round for the second straight day, finishing 10 strokes better than the next best team today
- Arizona State is dominating several statistical categories, including a tournament-best 37 birdies
- ASU is nine-strokes better than any other team on par five scoring and also paces the field in par four scoring
- Five Sun Devils sit in the Top-18 of the individual standings.
- Ashley Menne and Alexandra Forsterling are in firm contention to earn their first career win
- Menne is the only golfer with two rounds in the 60's, pacing the field with a 136 (-8)
- She was bogey-free on the day on her way to shooting a 67, the second-best round of the day
- Menne is tied for first in par five scoring, while placing second in par four scoring
- Forsterling has recorded a team-best 10 birdies, the third-most in the field
- There have been no weaknesses in her game, sitting in the Top-10 in par three, four, and five scoring
- Both Alessandra Fanali and Calynne Rosholt moved up the leaderboard thanks to bounce back days
- Fanali was able to shave six strokes off her total from yesterday, climbing 26 spots up the leaderboard and into the Top-10
- That did not end up being the biggest jump of the day by a Sun Devil, as Calynne Rosholt shot up 31 spots after a seven stroke improvement
Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye
On Alessandra Fanali's performance
"Ale has been so close to putting it all together for a while. She has really been striking the ball well. She just needed a few putts to go in for her confidence. I am just so happy for her that she strung together some birdies and her confidence is going up. That is really all that was missing. When she puts it all together she is going to be playing really beautifully. I was really happy about that today."
On Ashley Menne and Alexandra Forsterling at the top of the leaderboard
"I think they do feed off of each other. This is a really close team and they really cheer for each other. Every member of this team can win. It never surprises me when one of them is playing well. It is great to have two players at the top that. Both of these young women are headed to Augusta National Women's Amateur this week. It is very fitting because they have worked very hard for that. To see them hitting their stride as we they go into ANWA and we are so close to postseason. I love to see that confidence and the support of each other is just fantastic."
On how big would a team victory for momentum
"Well the No. 1 and No. 2-ranked teams are here, so a win would be just fantastic for their confidence to get them to understand that these are great teams and they are well deserved of their rankings. For us, tomorrow we have to keep pushing and we have got to be aggresive and keep making birdies. It is not about protecting, it is about continuing to go low. I am very proud of this field and what a strong field this is, so a win here would be a great first win for us going into the remainder of the season."
On the adjustments made from yesterday
"I just stayed patient. Yesterday I played very good, but just missed a lot of putts. Today I was trying not to put pressure on my putting because usually I play well in the long game, but get on the green and think I have to make it. I just relaxed on the green and some putts rolled in."
On the momentum built from her performance over the last ten holes
"I needed this round just to start all over again after this year and a half that I have been going up and down. I have enjoyed being home and playing at home for the last time. I will try and go out there tomorrow same as today and enjoy it."
On seeing her teammates on the top of the leaderboard
"It is so nice. We have always had a great team, but when playing this tournament it has always been a little tricky. We were always tight with the other teams, but being 17 strokes shot lead with Oregon and Stanford is crazy."
On playing in front of the home fans
"It is fun because everyone is out her cheering for everybody. I played with Wendy (Ward) on my pro-am day and she came out to watch. It makes it better."
Arizona State will begin the third round of the PING/ASU Invitational tomorrow at 8:25 AM MST, with a new golfer teeing-off every 11 minutes. They will be featured in the lead group, paired with Top-10 foes No. 1 Stanford and No. 2 Oregon along with No. 19 Baylor. All seven Sun Devils will start on the first hole. Here is a closer look at where they will begin tomorrow morning at 8:25 AM:
NORTHROP GRUMMAN REGIONAL CHALLENGE DAY THREE TEE TIMES (HOLE 1)
Ashley Menne - 9:20 AM
Alexandra Forsterling - 9:09 AM
Alessandra Fanali - 8:58 AM
Grace Summerhays - 8:47 AM
Calynne Rosholt - 8:36 AM
Amanda Linner - 8:25 AM
Breyana Matthews - 8:25 AM
HISTORY AT PING/ASU INVITATIONAL
This is the 49th edition of the PING/ASU Invitational, which has developed a reputation as one of the toughest fields in the Spring women's golf season. The first 46 were at Karsten Golf Course, with the last three taking place at Papago Golf Club. It represents a prime opportunity for the top teams in the nation to get a taste of the intensity of postseason golf leading up to the conference champions. Arizona State has won the most event titles, claiming the team championship at PING/ASU an incredible 21 times. This included the 2021 version, in which they split the top spot with Oregon after a year hiatus due to COVID-19. ASU last won the title outright in 2017 on their way to a National Championship.
The Maroon & Gold also boast the most individual medalists in tournament history, with Sun Devils earning the crown 16 times. Roberta Liti most recently won it in 2017, shooting a 206 (-10) to clinch the victory. Some of the top scores in program history have come at PING/ASU, with Monica Vaughn leading the way with a historic 64 (-8) in the first round of the 2017 version. Last year, Linn Grant finished second, a result that moved her to the No. 1 spot in the Golfstat national rankings.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Live scoring will be available on Golfstat at the following link. 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).
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