Men's Golf Season Review: Much Good, Aiming For the Top Spot
OH SO CLOSE
The Sun Devils men's golf team took one step closer to its goal of its third NCAA Championship this year with its 2022 second-place finish, as it beat No. 1 ranked Oklahoma and defending NCAA Champion Pepperdine in match play before losing to Texas, 3 & 2, on June 1. It was the best finish for ASU since the 1996 team won the national title, fresh off a tie for third last year. ASU has had back-to-back finishes of third or better for the first time since Phil Mickelson led ASU to three straight top-three finishes.
SUN DEVIL NCAA TOP-3 FINISHES -- PAC-12/10 ERA (1978-79 TO PRESENT)
2022: 2nd (2-1 in match play)
2021: T-3rd (1-1 in match play)
?? @TexasMGolf … let's do it again in 2023.
— Sun Devil Men's Golf (@sundevilmgolf) June 2, 2022
— Bob Bowman (@coach_bowman) June 2, 2022
GOLFSTAT FINAL RANKING
The Sun Devils finished fourth in the Golfstat final poll, behind Oklahoma, Vanderbilt and Oklahoma State and ahead of North Carolina, Pepperdine and Texas. Individually, Cameron Sisk (16), Mason Andersen (34), Josele Ballester (54) and Preston Summerhays (60) all were top-60 players.
GOLFWEEK FINAL RANKING
The Sun Devils finished fifth in the Golfweek final computer rankings, behind Oklahoma, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma State and Pepperdine and ahead of Texas and North Carolina. Individually, Josele Ballester (18), Cameron Sisk (30), Mason Andersen (38), and Preston Summerhays (45) all were top-45 players.
NOT EASY TO GET THERE
Getting to Grayhawk isn't easy, as eight teams ranked in the Golfstat top 30 after regional action had their season's end. Not advancing to the NCAA Championship in 2021-22 were Pac-12 champion Washington (9), Illinois (19), Notre Dame (20), LSU (21), Tennessee (22), Clemson (24), South Carolina (28) and Purdue (29).
.@sundevilmgolf Head Coach and recent #ASUGrad Matt Thurmond was pushed by the pandemic to pursue a masters degree! Thurmond says the degree from @Thunderbird will help him better relate culturally, as well as academically to his players. https://t.co/u8eO0CIP8U
— Arizona State University (@ASU) June 17, 2022
FOUR ALL-AMERICANS (AGAIN)
Senior Mason Andersen has closed out his Sun Devil career by earning third-team PING GCAA All-America honors, while three teammates earned honorable mention honors. It marks the second straight season -- last year was the first time since 2009 -- the program earned four GCAA All-Americans thanks to outstanding play all season combined with a strong run at the NCAA Championships
SUN DEVIL MEN'S GOLF ALL-AMERICANS (FOUR IN ONE SEASON)
2022: Mason Andersen (third), Josele Ballester (hm), David Puig (hm), Cameron Sisk (hm)
2021: David Puig (second), Chun An Yu (third), Ryggs Johnston (third), Cameron Sisk (hm)
2009: Knut Borsheim (hm), Stephan Gross (hm), Jesper Kennegard (hm), Scott Pinckney (hm)
1995: Todd Demsey (third), Chris Hanell (hm), Scott Johnson (hm), Joey Snyder (hm)
1990: Phil Mickelson (first), Per Johansson (second), Jim Lemon (third), Scott Frisch (hm)
1989: Phil Mickelson (first), Per Johansson (third), Jim Strickland (hm), Scott Frisch (hm)
Senior Mason Andersen -- who took advantage of the "free" COVID year to play five seasons -- took full advantage and ended up earning third-team All-American. He saved his best for last, going 3-0 in NCAA Match Play Competition. He ended up third in ASU history in career rounds (173), second in career par or better rounds (104), second in birdies (633) and third in eagles (24).
CAREER PAR OR BETTER ROUNDS
117, Jon Rahm (2012-16/165 rounds)
104, Mason Andersen (2017-22/173 rounds)
103, Chun An Yu (2016-21/151 rounds)
94, Alejandro Canizares (2002-06/152 rounds)
185, Scott Johnson (1993-97)
179, Chris Hanell (1993-97)
173, Mason Andersen (2017-22)
165, Jon Rahm (2012-16)
671, Jon Rahm (2012-16/165 rounds)
633, Mason Andersen (2017-22/173 rounds)
586, Chun An Yu (2016-21/151 rounds)
39, Jon Rahm (2012-16/165 rounds)
26, Alex del Rey (2016-20/132 rounds)
24, Mason Andersen (2017-22/173 rounds)
SOLID CAREER FOR CAMERON SISK
Sun Devil three-time All-American Cameron Sisk finished in the top 15 in the final Velocity Global Ranking to earn membership on a PGA TOUR international tour beginning the week after the NCAA Championship. Sisk finished his career as a three-time All-American with 44 tournaments and 135 rounds played and a 71.21 stroke average, including 70.82 in his senior year. He had 48 rounds in the 60s and 80 at par or better, including 26 of 39 in 2021-22. He earned medalist honors at three tournaments. Sisk earned his second-straight NCAA top-10 finish with 13 birdies and 47 pars in the 72-hole tournament. It marked just the third time a Sun Devil earned back-to-back top-10 NCAA finishes, and the first to do it in nearly three decades. Todd Demsey did the trick in 1993 (NCAA champion) and 1994, while Phil Mickelson did it four straight seasons (1989-92), including three NCAA titles (1989, 1990 and 1992).
With Sun Devil associate head coach Armen Kirikossian earning the UCLA head coaching job, head coach Matt Thurmond can be proud he has placed six former assisstants in Division I head coaching jobs, including three currently in the Pac-12. Oregon State under John Reehoorn earned a regional bid for just the second time in the past seven chances in 2021 and its sixth-place Pac-12 2021 finish matched its best in previous eight while Garrett Clegg at Utah led his program to a regional for the first time since 1992 and to the NCAA Championship in 2022 for the first time since the 1980s. Outside the Pac-12 Michael Wilson at Long Beach State won its first conference title since 2004 and made its first regional appearance since 2012 and just its fourth overall in 2021. Dan Potter at Boise State took the Broncos to regionals for the first time since 1994 and just second time overall in 2021. Van Williams, a fifth former assistant -- this one from Arizona State -- is also leading the program at Wofford.
MATCH PLAY STUFF
ASU doubled its win total in match play this year, going 2-1 after going 1-3 with losses in 2021, 2013 and 2009. The 2021 quarterfinal win over North Carolina was ASU's first, as it lost matches in 2013 and 2009.
NOTCHED A NCAA REGIONAL WIN
The Sun Devil men's golf team advanced to the 2022 NCAA Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in convincing fashion with a win at the Stockton Regional. The Sun Devils shot 38-under 826 (279-276-271) and had all four players who competed each day finish in the top 10. All-American David Puig -- who sat out the first round as he returned from a back injury -- wasted no time in proving he is back going 8-under in his two rounds (69-67). Mason Andersen tied for second at 10-under 206 (70-68-68), while freshman Josele Ballester tied for sixth at 8-under 208 (68-69-71). Freshman Preston Summerhays (72-70-67) and senior Cameron Sisk (69-71-69) tied for tenth at 7-under 209. ASU has now won or tied for a NCAA regional title eight times. ASU tied with Arizona in 1991 and tied with New Mexico in 1998. It won the title outright in 1995, 1999, 2001 2009, 2016 and now 2022.
SUN DEVIL MEN'S REGIONAL FINISHES UNDER MATT THURMOND
2022: 1st/Stockton, California
2021: T-2nd/Albuquerque, N.M.
2019: T-2nd/Stanford, California
2018: 5th/Raleigh, N.C.
2017: 5th/Austin, Texas
PAC-12 Freshman of the Year:
Preston Summerhays ??? pic.twitter.com/2aJYXGuPZ2
— Sun Devil Men's Golf (@sundevilmgolf) May 4, 2022
PAC-12 HONORS--PRESTON SUMMERHAYS PAC-12 FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Five Sun Devils earned a mention in the Pac-12, including its third straight Freshman/Newcomer of the Year. Preston Summerhays earned Freshman/Newcomer of the Year, first-team All-Pac-12 and Pac-12 All-Freshman team. Graduate student Mason Andersen and senior Cameron Sisk earned All-Pac-12 first team mentions, and Josele Ballester earned All-Pac-12 first-team and was selected to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team. Junior David Puig earned second-team honors while junior James Leow was an honorable mention. It's the third consecutive year that a Sun Devil has won freshman/newcomer of the year, with David Puig winning the award in 2020-21. Summerhays joins a special list of Sun Devils to earn freshman of the year, alongside teammate Cameron Sisk (2019), Jon Rahm (2013) and 2003 NCAA Champion Alejandro Canizares (2003).
JAMES LEOW WINS 2022 THUNDERBIRD COLLEGIATE
Sun Devil James Leow put his name next to some Sun Devil legends in April, a year removed from not competing for a full season after having labrum repair surgery. The list of past Sun Devils to win the nearly five-decade strong Thunderbird Collegiate includes PGA TOUR major champions, U.S. Amateir champions, Pac-12 champions and several NCAA champions. It now includes Singapore's own James Leow. Leow -- playing as an individual -- shot a 14-under 199 (67-66-66) that included going 9-under on the par-5 holes. He matched a tournament best with 17 birdies en route to the 2022 Thunderbird Collegiate medalist honors, earning a two-shot win. In 54 holes, he had just five bogeys.
TEAM AND PUIG WIN SOUTHWESTERN INVITATIONAL
Arizona State not only won the highly-competitive Southwestern Invitational in late January, it put everyone in the rear view mirror in the final two rounds as it shot a tournament-record 30-under, topping USC's 26-under in 2016. ASU earned its ninth Southwestern Invitational title presented by Topgolf at the North Ranch Country Club (par 72/6,992 yards) in Westlake Village in convincing fashion, while David Puig earned his second straight individual honor. After shooting a 13-under 275 -- tied for the second-best round in Southwestern Invitational history -- on Tuesday, the Sun Devils went out and shot 12-under 276 which was seven shots better than anyone on the final round. Puig became the first back-to-back Southwestern champion, and the fourth two-time winner. It marked the seventh time ASU won the individual title (breaking a tie with USC for the most). Puig's 7-under 65 Wednesday was one shot off the tournament 18-hole record.
Puig became the first back-to-back Southwestern champion, and the fourth two-time winner. It marked the seventh time ASU won the individual title (breaking a tie with USC for the most). Puig's 7-under 65 Wednesday was one shot off the tournament 18-hole record.
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) January 27, 2022
DAVID PUIG'S INDIVIDUAL TITLES
David Puig (Jr.) Southwestern Invitational (Jan. 24-26, 2022)
David Puig (So.) Amer Ari Intercollegiate (Feb. 2-4, 2021)
David Puig (So.) Southwestern Invitational (Jan. 25-27, 2021)
SOLID COME-FROM-BEHIND COPPER CUP WIN
The Sun Devil men's golf team entered final day Copper Cup action in early January down 7-5 and after going 3-1 in morning foursomes the match was tied with eight points for each team. It was all ASU after that. The Sun Devils won seven of the eight afternoon singles matches -- five of them by a 1-up score -- and cruised to a second straight comeback Copper Cup win, 15-9 over Arizona. Preston Summerhays and Mason Andersen set the tone with 6 & 4 wins in the afternoon, after Gabe Salvanera and James Leow set the tone in the morning with a 4 & 3 win.
— Brentley Romine (@BrentleyGC) October 19, 2021
SOLID WIN BACK EAST
In October the team won the Isleworth Invitational held in Windmere, FL, as it shot 11-under 853 (277-292-284) to top Illinois. Cameron Sisk tied for fifth while freshman Preston Summerhays tied for eighth.
FIRST TOURNAMENT, FIRST WINNER
Cameron Sisk won the 75-player Maridoe Collegiate Invitational to start the 2021-22 season in Texas with a par on the first playoff hole for his third collegiate victory, following 2019 titles at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate (Sept. 13-15) and the Sonoran Showdown (March 18-19).
GolfChannel: Cam cookin' on the course! ?? @sundevilmgolf's Cameron Sisk wins the individual title at the @MaridoeGolfClub Collegiate Invitational in a playoff. #NCAAGolf pic.twitter.com/L093AVQnKe #GolfChannel #GrowTheGame
— MySport101 (@MySport101) September 16, 2021
We will remain the only school to win both @NCAA Golf titles in the same season. @SunDevilWGolf and our program did that in 1990. Great to see those head coaches Linda Vollstedt (@coachlindav ) and Steve Loy out here supporting our teams at @GrayhawkGolf @GolfChannel @collegegolf pic.twitter.com/V4cHQoBiHy
— Sun Devil Men's Golf (@sundevilmgolf) May 30, 2022