The Sun Devil men's golf team opened its 2013-14 season in solid fashion as it traveled to the 15-team Kikkor Invitational in Bremerton, Wash., and beat everyone but the host. Arizona State finished second and shot a 1-over 865 (291-289-285) and its 3-under 285 in the final round was tied for the fourth-best team round of the tournament.
Host Washington won the tournament with a 17-under 847 (270-286-282), as ASU topped Pac-12 rivals Oregon State (868/+4), Oregon (875/+11), USC (875/+11), Washington State (880/+16) and Utah (907/+43). It was the third-straight season that the Huskies won their home tournament and for a second-straight season Cheng Tsung-Pan took the individual title.
Sophomore Alberto Sanchez posted his best collegiate tournament as he had a 3-under 213 and finished sixth, as his 68 in the second round matched his career best. Arizona State had all its players finish in the top-28, as four of the five players all shot at least one round under par. No team could come close to that on the week, as even champion Washington had players finish tied for 32nd and tied for 41st.
Junior Austin Quick tied for 13th at even 216 (72-73-71), while sophomore Jon Rahm (75-73-71) and junior Mathias Schjoelberg (72-75-72) both tied for 25th at 3-over 219. Freshman Ki Taek Lee had a solid first tournament, as he finished at 4-over 220 which included a 1-under in the final round.
Sanchez, who shot 75 in all three rounds last year at the Kikkor in his collegiate debut and did not have a top-25 finish in his final seven tournaments last year, had 12 birdies and a eagle in the tournament.
Rahm, the honorable mention All-America selection who earned Pac-12 Freshman of the Year last season, started slow by going 4-over in his first nine holes of the tournament but shot 1-under the final 63 holes. No one in the college golf universe was better than Jon on par-5 holes last year, as averaged 4.51 on the long holes and that trend continued in Bremerton. He shot 5-under on the 12 par-5 holes, with six birdies. His 3-over 75 in the opening round was the first time in his career his score did not count, as his score has counted in 48 of 49 career rounds.
Three players competed in the individual tournament. Blake Cannon finished at 6-over 219 and tied for 17th (72-70-77), Broc Johnson tied for 23rd with a 9-over 222 (74-75-73) and Nicolo Galletti tied for 34th at 13-over 226 (70-76-80).
ASU played without sophomore Max Rottluff, who will be out all fall with a hand injury. The Sun Devils will next compete in the Tucker Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M., Sept. 27-28.
KIKKOR INVITATIONAL (SEPT. 16-17)/BREMERTON, WASH./OLYMPIC COURSE
ARIZONA STATE TEAM SCORES: 291-289-285=865/+1/2nd
Alberto Sanchez 73-68-72=213/-3/6th
Austin Quick 72-73-71=216/E/T-13
Jon Rahm 75-73-71=219/+3/T-25
Mathias Schjoelberg 72-75-72=219/+3/T-26
Ki Taek Lee 74-75-71=220/+4/T-28