Sun Devil Men's Golf Opens Spring In Hawaii
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
THE FIELD: The field includes No. 2 Georgia Tech, No. 3 Oklahoma State, No. 11 Stanford, No. 15 UCLA, No. 17 Texas, No. 18 Washington and No. 25 USC. Auburn , University of California-Davis, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Oregon State , TCU and Texas Tech complete the D-I field, while Cal State Monterey Bay, host University of Hawaii at Hilo and Osaka Gakuin University of Japan are also in the field.
LINEUP: ASU’s lineup will include sophomore Jon Rahm, freshman Ki Taek Lee, sophomore Trey Ka’ahanui, sophomore Max Rotluff and junior Austin Quick. Freshman Alberto Sanchez and junior Broc Johnson will compete as individuals.
PAST SUN DEVIL WINNERS IN THIS TOURNAMENT: Jesper Kennegard is the most recent Sun Devil to win the Amer Ari Intercollegiate when he grabbed medalist honors in 2008. Chris Hanell won the tournament in 1995, while Todd Demsey took home the championship in 1993. ASU won the 1994 team title as well.
SOME IMPROVEMENT GOING ON HERE: Tim Mickelson took over a program in the summer of 2011 that was 89-86-3 in head-to-head record in the previous year. In 2011-12, the young squad was 62-96-1, but his past two seasons have resulted in rapid improvement. The 2012-13 team that made the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship was 125-89-1, and this year’s team is 69-10 entering play this spring. A look at the past six seasons of head-to-head play for men’s golf.
MEN’S GOLF HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORDS
WANT SOME MORE IMPROVEMENT NOTES HEADING TO SPRING?: Yes, all schedules and tournaments are different, but if you rack up 60 wins in the fall no matter what school you played against or how many tournaments you played that doesn’t stink. According to Golfweek rankings, only Hartford (ranked No. 121) had more “wins” at 72-10 than No. 34 Arizona State’s 69-10. No. 4 California was 63-5. No. 53 Louisville was 60-20-2 and No. 93 Cincinnati was 60-9-1.
RAHM REMINDER: He didn't get the 2012-13 National Freshman of the Year, but an argument could be made he should have last year. Jon Rahm, the 2012-13 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, had one of the best freshman seasons in Sun Devil history...shot a NCAA Championship opening round record 61 on May 28...posted wins at the Bill Cullum Invitational and the Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic...one of only two players in the nation to play 46 rounds last year, and all of them counted...ranked first in the nation in par-5 scoring at 4.51 strokes...tied for first in the nation lead with nine eagles...led nation with 165 birdies...second Sun Devil to win the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, as 2003 NCAA champion Alejandro Canizares won honor in 2003...also a second-team All-Pac-12 selection...71.37 stroke average is best by a Sun Devil freshman.
4.51: No one in the college golf universe was better than Jon Rahm on par-5 holes in 2012-13. 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.
46: Jon Rahm 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.
9: 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.
165: Jon also led the nation in birdies with 165, topping NCAA champion Max Homa by three.