By Jordan Parry, SDA Media Relations
MARANA, Ariz. -- The fourth and final round of the 2014 Men's Golf Pac-12 Championship came to a conclusion Sunday afternoon from the Gallery Golf Club in Marana, Ariz. Despite shooting its second lowest combined round as a team Sunday, No. 25 Arizona State (379-360-384-364-1487) dropped one position and finished the 55th annual tournament in 6th place. Stanford, who opened up a wide lead in Friday's second round, brought home 1st place honors at -2 overall.
With the victory, Stanford becomes the seventh school to take home the team title since 2004 as ASU (2008), USC (2007 and 2011), UCLA (2006), Washington (2005, 2009 and 2010), Arizona (2004) and California (2012 and 2013) all have taken home a trophy in the past 11 tournaments.
Stanford also had two of the top three overall individual finishers, as No. 1 ranked Patrick Rodgers took 1st place overall at -7, while No. 2 Cameron Wilson placed 3rd at -4. Cheng-Tsung Pan of Washington took 2nd place at -5.
ASU's 6th place finish might not have been the exact outcome hoped for by head coach Tim Mickelson and his crew of Sun Devil golfers, but the result still carried heavy implications for the athletic department and Sun Devil Nation as a whole. Because ASU finished ahead of in-state rival Arizona on the course this weekend, the Devils received one full point in the annual Territorial Cup standings, improving its total to 10.5 total points for the year. The full point proved to be the clinching point for the 2013-14 series, giving Arizona State the Territorial Cup series win, as the school who places higher in the Pac-12 Championship earns the full point.
"There’s always consolation in beating Arizona," Mickelson said. "It feels very good earning our Territorial Cup and feels even better being the team to secure the Territorial Cup series for ASU and all ASU fans.
"The team is excited about winning the Territorial Cup but none of us are content with our finish. We will be working hard to be prepared for the NCAA Regionals in a couple weeks."
Arizona State entered the final round in 5th place and shot +4 on the day, right in the middle of the pack for fourth round scores. It took a final round charge by Colorado, whose -6 on Sunday tied the lowest round team score produced by Stanford in round two, to surpass the Devils on the final day of competition.
"We got off to a great start today in the final round," Mickelson stated. "We had things going well but as we made the turn to the back 9 holes the wind started to come up. Golf in itself is frustrating. The most frustrating part is seeing the guys play so well and then have a couple bad tee shots or unlucky breaks kill any momentum you may have."
The top individual finisher for ASU was junior Austin Quick (75-72-76-72-295), who has shown the ability throughout his three seasons at Arizona State to shine under the spotlight. Quick finished in a tie for 22nd place at +7 overall after shooting even-par 72 on Sunday for the second time in three rounds. He capped off his impressive all-around tournament by recording birdie on the par-5, 690-yard 18th hole, a hole in which he bogeyed each of the two previous rounds.
Sophomore Max Rottluff (78-68-77-75-298) began the day in a tie with Quick for 22nd, but slipped down the leaderboard and finished in a tie for 28th place despite also recording his second lowest score of the tournament in the final round.
Like Quick and Rottluff, many golfers regained their stroke on the course Sunday much in thanks to the cooperating weather. The average stroke score for Saturday's third round in the rain and heavy winds jumped to 77.32, the highest of any round, but dropped to 73.67 on Sunday, the lowest of any round. The overall stroke average for all four rounds finished at 75.40.
Moving down the ASU leaderboard in order, junior Broc Johnson (72-79-76-74-301) and sophomore Jon Rahm (77-75-77-72-301) both completed their final rounds tied for 36th place at +13. Johnson birdied back-to-back holes on one and two, but could only manage one more birdie in the remaining 16 holes, thus dropping three positions from where he began the day.
Rahm, on the other hand, put together his best round of the tournament on Sunday. He shot even-par and was aided by back-to-back eagles on seven and eight. Rahm has now recorded 21 eagles in his 80 rounds played as a Sun Devil, the most of any Arizona State golfer since 1993-94 when Golfstat began tracking college statistics. Rahm's 21 eagles bests former ASU greats such as Alejandro Canizares (15 eagles in 152 rounds), Scott Pinckey (16 eagles in 121 rounds) and Niklas Lemke (16 eagles in 151 rounds).
ASU freshman Blake Cannon (77-73-80-72-302) also shot even-par over the course of his final 18 holes and finished one stroke behind Johnson and Rahm at +14 and in a tie for 40th place in his first crack in a Pac-12 Championship event.
"I was again impressed with Blake Cannon’s play," Mickelson said. "He’s played very solid for us the last three events--very steady."
Co-freshman Nicolo Galletti (81-72-78-74-305) rounded out the Sun Devil field with a tie for 47th place and finished Sunday at just +2.
Arizona State has roughly three weeks off to focus on NCAA Regionals from Eugene, Ore. spanning May 15-17, as the Devils aim to play their way into late May's NCAA Championships.