May 29, 2013
ATLANTA, Ga.--Facing tougher conditions in the second round of play, Arizona State golfer Jon Rahm hung on to lead the field at the 2013 NCAA Men’s Golf Championships in Atlanta, Ga. at the par-70, Capital City Club Crabapple Course. Rahm backed up his unprecedented opening round total of 61 with a score of 2-over 72 to give the freshman a two-day total of 133 (-7) and a one-stroke lead heading into the final round of stroke play.
"This doesn't mean anything,” said Rahm. “I'm not going to think that I shot 61 and 72. I'm just going to think I played two good rounds. I'm still in the lead, I'm conscious about that. Tomorrow is a new day."
The final wave of teams coming into the clubhouse after the second round all seemed to struggle with some of the afternoon conditions. The Sun Devils, who teed off the day as the leader, shot a second-round total of 8-over 288 to move into seventh place and finish with a two-day total of 2-under 558 (270-288).
"If you would have asked me two ago if we'd go into the third round inside the number by two shots, we certainly would have taken it,” said Arizona State head coach Tim Mickelson. “Even though we had the lead yesterday, that's not the important thing. The important thing is to be inside that cut line after 54. If we put in one good round tomorrow, we're going to be there."
The top-eight teams after the final round of 18 holes tomorrow will move on to match-play competition to determine the team NCAA Champion. The Sun Devils last qualified for the match-play portion of the NCAA Championships in 2009.
The low golfer after 54 holes will be crowned the NCAA Champion before teams move into match play and Rahm will have a chance to win Arizona State’s seventh NCAA Individual Title. The Pac-12 Freshman of the Year will try to repeat history when fellow Spaniard and Sun Devil Alejandro Canizares won the NCAA Individual Title as a freshman exactly 10 years ago this season.
ASU has had four NCAA medalists on six occasions as Carter (1983), Phil Mickelson (1989, 1990, 1992), Todd Demsey (1993) and Canizares (2003) all have taken home the trophy in the past 30 seasons. No other program can match the Sun Devils’ six NCAA champions since 1983, as only Oklahoma State (five), Illinois (two) and UNLV (two) have had multiple winners in that time.
The 2013 season marks the 10th anniversary of Sun Devil freshman Alejandro Canizares winning the 2003 title, the 20th anniversary of Todd Demsey winning the 1993 title and the 30th anniversary of Jim Carter winning the 1983 title.
Arizona State tees off tomorrow beginning at 12:50 p.m. ET/9:50 a.m. PT from the 10th tee with Texas A&M and UCF. Unlike today’s round, Rahm teed off on the backside of the Crabapple Course for his tournament-low round of 61 on Tuesday.