Grayhawk Bound: Women's Golf to NCAA Championship
STILLWATER, Okla. - Sun Devil Women's Golf will be advancing to the NCAA Championship for the 37th time in program history.
Arizona State showed why they were selected as the No. 2 seed at the Stillwater Regional and considered one of the contenders for the National Championship. They picked a good time for their best round of the event, posting a 289 (+1) to seal their spot as one of 24 teams moving on.
Thanks to a second-place finish, Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye's team comfortably advances to the NCAA Championship, hosted by Arizona State at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona from May 20-25. Most notably, ASU finished ahead of regional host and defending NCAA runner-up No. 6 Oklahoma State at their home course.
This is the fifth consecutive championship that ASU has advanced to under Farr-Kaye, who was at the helm when the 2017 team captured the program's eighth National Championship. It is the 10th time the program has finished in the Top-2 of a regional in the 29-year history of the format and the second straight year they accomplished the feat.
Starting the day close to the cut line, the Maroon & Gold put together a fantastic effort. Arizona State remained in the Top-4 from wire-to-wire, staying consistent throughout the three days despite facing hot and windy conditions. It was the final of the 72 holes that proved to be one of the most productive ones, with four of the five Sun Devils recording a birdie on the 18th hole.
SUN DEVILS IN THE STANDINGS
Three Sun Devils have ended in the Top-10 each day and the theme continued, as Alexandra Forsterling, Ashley Menne, and Grace Summerhays all were in the Top-10. Arizona State was joined by only Auburn and Baylor in having three of the Top-10 finishers.
It was no surprise that Alexandra Forsterling had the best round of any Sun Devil on the biggest day of the year, carding a 69 (-3) as she continues her spectacular senior season. She moved up four spots after matching the second-lowest round of the day, leading her team to a NCAA Championship appearance by tying for fifth. Forsterling finished with seven birdies today and boasted the best scoring average in the field on par three holes.
Ashley Menne is heating up at the right time, earning a tie for seventh thanks to a 72 (E) on the final day. She was the second-highest finishing Sun Devil, remaining in the Top-10 after each round. Menne was five-under on par five holes, the best scoring average of any Sun Devil on those opportunities.
Grace Summerhays did not perform like a freshman, ending in a tie for 10th at her first NCAA Regional. Playing with the poise and maturity of a veteran, Summerhays was the epitome of consistency and provided much needed stability. Her 73 (+1) each day counted and allowed her to tie for the highest finishing freshman.
Both Alessandra Fanali and Calynne Rosholt had counting scores at some point during the Regional, contributing to the second place team finish. A part of what sets the Sun Devils a part is their depth, as all five members of the lineup came through in important moments.
Alexandra Forsterling came out on a mission, setting a tone with her play as the leader of the team. She carded five birdies on the front nine on her way to finishing three-under, including three birdies over her final four holes. Thanks to birdies on her final two holes, Alessandra Fanali ended at par on her front nine. Both Grace Summerhays and Ashley Menne battled their way to finishing only one-over, avoiding any major mistakes.
In the most important stretch of the season, Arizona State maintained their focus and played nearly mistake-free golf. They navigated a pressure situation without a problem, with Ashley Menne leading the way. Menne was one-under on the back nine to secure a spot in the Top-10, including two important birdies on 16 & 18. Alexandra Forsterling, Calynne Rosholt, and Grace Summerhays each finished even, ensuring Arizona State would qualify for the NCAA Championship.
Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye
"Today our team showed how mentally tough and resilient they are! They stayed in it until the last putt which was awesome! Karsten Creek with the heat and wind is truly a tremendous test of golf. We are excited that we get to compete for an NCAA championship at home at the Grayhawk Golf Club!"
Freshman Grace Summerhays
On what it was like playing in the NCAA Postseason for the first time
"It was such a great experience playing in my first post season event! It is something you look forward to and prepare for all year and it was cool that we went out there and played solid on a very difficult golf course in tough conditions."
On how special it will be to play in front of friends and family
"I am so excited to be playing at Grayhawk next week! This is something I have looked forward to for a while and is one of the reasons why I came to college early. It doesn't get much better than having a chance to win a National Championship right at home."
On her confidence heading into the NCAA Championship
"I feel really good about my game right now! Taking a top 10 is great momentum for me going into next week and I'm excited that my whole game feels solid. I can't wait to see what me and my team can do at Grayhawk!"
TOP-30 TEAMS ELIMINATED
NCAA golf regional action annually is a time when several possible champion contenders don't make it through to NCAA Championships. The following note puts into perspective how significant of an accomplishment this is for the Sun Devils. Ten top-30 Golfstat teams did not make the cut in 2022: Florida (11), Duke (21), defending NCAA champion Ole Miss (22), Arizona (23), Texas Tech (24), Kentucky (25), Illinois (26), Oregon State (27), UCF (29) and Michigan State (30).
SEC (9): Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Pac-12 (5): Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, USC
Big 12 (4): Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas, TCU
ACC (3): Florida State, Virginia, Wake Forest
Big Ten (2): Michigan, Northwestern
MWC (1): San Jose State
HOW TO FOLLOW
Golf Channel will have live coverage May 23-25, the final three days of the NCAA Championship. Stayed tuned for more details on the upcoming NCAA Women's Golf Championship, hosted by Arizona State at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale. Visit the Championship Central webpage.
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).