June 2, 2013
With the NCAA men's golf championships wrapping up and the Sun Devils reaching match play and going the distance with top-seeded California before falling 3 and 2 on Friday, here is a look back at the season that Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Jon Rahm had in 2012-13. Rahm earned second-team All-Pac-12, which obviously is a one heck of a good golf league if this guy wasn't on the first team.
Rahm joined Brandon Stone of Texas (National Freshman of the Year), USC's Yi Keun Chang, Oliver Goss of Tennessee and Georgia State's Jonathan Grey on the All-Freshmen Team, presented by the Phil and Amy Mickelson Foundation as the most outstanding freshmen in Division I men's golf by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Let's break it down numerically...
1 (AS IN FIRST)
Jon's 71.37 scoring average in 15 events is the best by a Sun Devil freshman dating to 1985. The other four players that are in the top five all won an NCAA individual championship during their Sun Devil days. Alejandro Canizares won the 2003 NCAA title, Todd Demsey won the 1993 NCAA title and Phil Mickelson won three NCAA titles. Jon Rahm's freshman score also was better than the freshman averages of three-time Pac-10 champion Paul Casey, 2000 U.S. Amateur Champion Jeff Quinney and 2001 U.S. Public Links champion Chez Reavie. That 71.37 stroke average was third-best by a freshman this year, behind only Sean Dale of North Florida (70.61 in 23 rounds) and Brandon Stone of Texas (70.97 in 36 rounds).
SUN DEVIL FRESHMAN SCORING AVERAGES (1985-2013)
1. Jon Rahm, 15, 2012-13, 71.37
2. Alejandro Canizares, 8, 2002-03, 71.65
3. Todd Demsey, 15, 1991-92, 72.10
4. Phil Mickelson, 14, 1988-89, 72.14
5. Jesper Kennegard, 12, 2007-08, 72.16
6. Chan Kim, 8, 2008-09, 72.20
7. Paul Casey, 12, 1997-98, 72.30
8. Benjamin Alvarado Holley, 10, 2005-06, 72.50
9. Jeff Quinney, 11, 1997-98, 72.57
10. Chez Reavie, 10, 2000-01, 72.58
Jon won two tournaments on the year as he won the Bill Cullum Invitational at Wood Ranch Golf Club in Simi Valley, Calif., on Oct. 22-23 with a 12-under 204 (72-65-67), which topped Grant Forrest of San Diego by three strokes. He then won the Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, Calif., on March 11-12, this time by two strokes over Forrest as Rahm shot 7-under 209. He was down four strokes entering the final day but shot a tournament-low 67 in the final round.
Jon became the second Sun Devil to win the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, as 2003 NCAA Champion Alejandro Canizares also won the honor in that same season.
No one in the college golf universe was better than Jon on par-5 holes this year. He averaged 4.51, topping Kyle Westmoreland of Air Force (4.57) for the top spot in all of collegiate golf. Only Niklas Lemke (4.47 in 2006-07) and Paul Casey (4.51 in 1999-2000) could equal or top that mark in the Sun Devil record book in the past 20 seasons.
Jon's nine eagles was tied for the best mark in the nation with sophomore Xander Schauffele of San Diego State. That also is the most by a Sun Devil in the past 20 seasons, topping Paul Casey's eight eagles in his freshman season of 1997-98.
Jon's 9-under 61 was just the fourth time a Sun Devil went at least 9-under in the past 20 seasons. Paul Casey's 60 at the 199 Pac-10 Championship was a 10-under, as was Jeff Quinney's 10-under 62 in the 1999 ASU/Thunderbird/Savane Invitational. Kendall Critchfield had a 9-under 63 in the 2004 ASU Thunderbird Invitational
Sixteen of Jon's 46 rounds were in the 60s on the season. Here is a look at his five lowest scores of the year.
JON'S LOW ROUNDS IN 2012-13
61, first round at NCAA Championships
64, second round at Pac-12 Preview
65, second round at Bill Cullum Invitational
65, third round at Pac-12 Preview
67, third round at Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic
Jon tied with senior and NCAA Champion Max Homa of California as the only two players in the nation to play 46 rounds, and amazingly Jon had his score count in all 46. Only two other Sun Devils in the past 20 seasons had 100 percent scoring: Chris Hanell in 39 rounds in 1996-97 and Niklas Lemke in 2006-07 in 37 rounds. One more note on Jon's 46 rounds...exactly half of them (23) were par or better.
JON'S ROUND-BY-ROUND 2012-13
The Gopher Invitational 81-73-78=232/+16/T-41st
Kikkor Golf Husky Invitational 75-73-73/=221/+5/T-15th
Pac-12 Preview 77-64-65=206/-10/2nd
Alister MacKenzie Invitational 69-71-74=214/+1/ T-26th
Bill Cullum Invitational 72-65-67=204/-12/1st
Arizona Intercollegiate 75-70-69=214/+1/13th
The Amer Ari Invitational 73-70-74=217/+1/T-42nd
The Prestige at PGA West 71-74-74=219/+3/T-26th
North Ranch Intercollegiate 79-75-72=226/+13/T-30th
Lamkin Grips SD Classic 72-70-67=209/-7/1st
ASU Thunderbird Invitational 75-68-69=212/-1/T-11th
67th Annual Western Intercollegiate 69-72-69=210/E/7th
Pac-12 Championship 75-67-68-75=285/+5/10th
NCAA Tempe Regional 73-69-68=210/E/T-23rd
NCAA Championship 61-72-71=204/-6/T-2nd
Jon was one of four players to fire a 61 this past season, joining junior Cameron Wilson of Stanford, senior Finley Ewing IV of Texas Tech and Homa of California. Jon's 61 was a NCAA Championship opening round-record for low score. That 61 also is the second-best in Sun Devil history, behind only Paul Casey's 10-under 60 at the 1999 Pac-10 Championships in Seattle. Jon had 10 birdies and just one bogey to shoot a NCAA opening-round record low score of 61. Playing the back nine first, he birdied the tenth hole, had his only bogey on 11 and then had nine more birdies and no bogeys en route to the 9-under 61. Only Notah Begay of Stanford had a lower score in relation to par in the opening round of the NCAA Championship, as he posted a 10-under 62 in 1994. Duke's Michael Schachner shot a 60 in the final round of the 2007 NCAA Championship at Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va., which is the NCAA Championship single-round scoring record.
Jon also led the nation in birdies with 165, topping NCAA champion Max Homa by three.