Nov. 9, 2010
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—With two events left on the LPGA Tour 2010 schedule, Sun Devil women’s golf alumna Azahara Munoz has clinched the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award.
Munoz, a 2009 graduate of Arizona State University has been a model of consistency during her rookie campaign, posting two top-10 finishes and 10 additional top-25s. She has an insurmountable 313-point lead on fellow rookie Amanda Blumenherst of the United States, as a Tour win counts for 150 points.
"I am really happy that I won the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year," Munoz said. "It is what all the rookies want to accomplish and you only have the chance to do it once in your life. I never really set the goal for myself at the beginning of the year, but as the year progressed, it became one of my top goals."
In her time at Arizona State, Munoz led the Sun Devils to the 2009 NCAA National Championship and two Pac-10 Championships in 2007 and 2009. The four-time All-American also reached the pinnacle of her collegiate individual career, winning the 2008 NCAA Individual National Championship on a 25-yard putt on the first playoff hole against conference rival Tiffany Joh of UCLA.
“Azahara is a great player and an even better person,” said Arizona State head coach Melissa Luellen. “In her four years at Arizona State, Coach [Missy Farr] Kaye and I watcher her grow and mature and believe in herself.”
In addition to her contribution to the rich athletic history of the Arizona State women’s golf program, Munoz was also a model of academic success. Graduating suma cum laude with a 3.98 GPA in psychology, Munoz became the first ever two-time (2008-09) recipient of the Edith Cumming Munson award. The award is presented to the most academically distinguished DI female golfer of the season. Munoz was also recognized by the Pac-10 for her academic achievement, earning the Pac-10 Scholar athlete of the year award.
“We are so excited for the wonderful accomplishment of earning Rookie of the year,” said Luellen. “Aza is a wonderful Sun Devil and she proudly displays her Sparky headcover with pride.”
Munoz will receive the Louise Suggs Trophy during the Rolex Reception on Friday, December 3 at the 2010 LPGA Tour Championship, to be contested Decenmber 2-5 at Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando, Florida.
"I am particularly honored and humbled to win an award named for one of the LPGA Founders, Louise Suggs," Munoz said. "Ms. Suggs and the other 12 founders made it possible for me to chase my dream of playing the LPGA Tour."
The Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award, named for LPGA Founder and LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Louise Suggs, was established in 1962. Since its inception, nine award winners have become members of the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame including fellow ASU women’s golfer Joanne Gunderson Carner in 1970.
Munoz's season-best finish is a tie for fourth at the Bell Micro LPGA Classic. She posted a second top-10 at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger. Munoz also finished in the top 20 in all three majors in which she played, including a tie for 11th at the LPGA Championship Presented by Wegmans and ties for 19th at both the U.S. Women's Open and RICOH Women's British Open. Munoz is currently No. 44 in the Rolex Rankings and 28th on the LPGA Official money list.