April 7, 2013
The final round of the ASU Thunderbird Invitational has come to a close, with Arizona State (296-293-280-869) jumping two positions on the day to finish in 12th-place overall. Freshman Jon Rahm led the charge for the Sun Devils, barely missing a top-ten finish, ending tied for 11th.
Jon Rahm, who tied with seven other golfers, used his second-straight under par round to climb from 24th, where he started Sunday's final round. Coming off a round of 68 on Saturday, Rahm followed it up with a two-under par round of 69, finishing at one-under par and missing out on another top-ten finish by one stroke. He had three birdies on the day, including back-to-back on holes three and four. He completed the last 36 holes with seven birdies to only two bogies.
Another freshman, Trey Ka'ahanui, used a brilliant final round of three-under par 68 and leaped his way from his starting position of 42nd all the way into a tie for 22nd at one-over par. Playing as an independent, Ka'ahanui recorded back-to-back birdies on holes three and four and also ten and eleven, on his way to recording a birdie on six over the final 18 holes. Another Sun Devil individual, Spencer Lawson, shot one-over par for the second-straight round and finished tied for 25th at two-over par.
Climbing 12 spots on the leaderboard in Sunday's final round was Max Rottluff, who also concluded tied for 25th at two-over par, finishing alongside his teammate Lawson. Rottluff shot a third round of one-under par, notching birdies on back-to-back holes on 12 and 13.
Another Sun Devil who made a move through the final 18 was Brandon Cloete, who gained 20 positions from Saturday, concluding his tournament tied for 30th at three-over par. Cloete was aided by his third round of three-under par 68, showing much promise and building momentum towards the spring's remaining tournaments. Like Ka'ahanui, Cloete also birdied six holes on the day.
Thirteenth-ranked UNLV took home the tournament's top prize, inching out first-ranked Cal by one stroke. New Mexico, who entered the day with the lead, finished seven strokes behind in fourth-place.
Nick Chianello of Oregon State held the lead after every round, including the final one when it mattered most. He finished at 11-under par, one stroke ahead of second-place Scott Fernandez of Iowa State and Brandon Hagy of Cal.
Arizona State has one remaining tournament before the Pac-12 Championship, as they travel to San Jose, Calif., on April 13-14 for the Western Intercollegiate.