Knowledge Enterprise Development at Arizona State University issued the following announcement on Sept. 10
The Sun Devil Women's Golf team prepares for another highly-anticipated season that culminates in hosting the 2020 NCAA Men's & Women's Golf Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club.
The following is a season preview that includes numbers, notes, and things to watch as the 2019-20 season approaches.
2019-20 Sun Devil Women's Golf Season Preview
Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye enters her fifth season at the helm of the Sun Devil Women's Golf program. She is joined by Assistant Coach Michelle Estill, who prepares for her fourth season in the role. In each of the previous three season, Farr-Kaye and Estill have guided the team to a berth in the NCAA Championship, highlighted by winning the 2017 National Championship.
For the 27th consecutive year, Arizona State was selected to compete in a NCAA Regional in 2019. They are one of only nine schools to have made an appearance in a regional every season since the regional format was implemented in 1993. By virtue of their fifth-place finish at the Norman Regional, ASU qualified for their NCAA-record 35th appearance at the National Championship. The Sun Devils finished in a tie for 14th place, earning a crucial 60 points in the Director's Cup.
Despite losing a pair of veteran contributors to graduation, the Sun Devils were highly-regarded in the preseason polls. A consensus preseason Top-10 team nationally, ASU was ranked No. 7 by Golf Channel back in August. Two additional preseason polls, Golfweek and WGCA, had the Sun Devils slotted at No. 10. The high expectations were placed on this group for a reason, as they bring back several talented golfers while adding one of the top freshmen in the nation.Once again testing themselves with one of the country's toughest schedules, the Sun Devils will have competed against the top teams even before postseason play begins. Arizona State will participate in three of AmateurGolf.com's Top-10 College Golf Tournaments to Watch. The Maroon & Gold begin their season at the ANNIKA Invitational presented by 3M, running September 16-18. For the second consecutive year, they will compete at the Windy City Invitational (Sept. 30–Oct. 1) and Stanford Intercollegiate (Oct. 11-13). The team will then make the first of two trips to Hawaii for the Pac-12 Preview (Nov. 4-6) to wrap up the fall portion of the schedule.
The Spring season gets underway with a one-day matchup with Denver and UCLA in Gold Canyon, Arizona (Jan. 26). Returning to the site of the 2019 Pac-12 Championship, the Sun Devils will participate in the Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, California (Feb. 9-11). Arizona State will then head south of the border to take part in the Guadalajara International Invitational hosted by Virginia (Feb. 16-18). The second trip to Hawaii has the Sun Devils competing in the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational (Mar. 10-11). ASU hosts the PING/ASU Invitational at Papago Golf Course (Mar. 27-29), representing the final regular season tournament. Postseason play begins at the Pac-12 Championships (Apr. 24-26) with NCAA Regionals scheduled for May 11-13. The NCAA Championship hosted by Arizona State at Grayhawk Golf Course begins May 22nd and wraps up May 27th.
A reflection of Coach Farr-Kaye and Coach Estill's recruiting efforts, Arizona State's lineup will feature six golfers all from a European country. Spain, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Sweden are all represented on the 2019-20 roster. Combining these cultures has created a unique bond between teammates and the coaching staff.
Senior Olivia Mehaffey returns after a spectacular junior season in which she was named a Second Team All-American. She has now received All-American honors for three consecutive years, becoming just the 11th three-time All-American in program history. She will have a chance to join an even more exclusive club should she land on an All-American team this season, as it would make her just the third four-time All-American ever at Arizona State.
Preseason accolades came pouring in for Mehaffey during the offseason, as the members of the golf community recognize her ability. She was one of only ten selected as a First Team Preseason All-American by Golfweek. To go along with her All-American distinction, Mehaffey was named to the ANNIKA Award Watch List as one of the nation's top golfers entering 2019-20. She recently gained international experience over the summer as a member of Team Great Britain & Ireland, competing for the 2019 Astor Trophy.
Incoming freshman Linn Grant prepares to make her long-awaited debut for the Sun Devils, coming to Tempe as one of the nation's top recruits. Grant has accumulated plenty of international experience prior to college, including participating in the 2018 European Ladies Team Championship and U.S. Women's Open Championship. She has enjoyed recent success, finishing third at The Women's Amateur Championship and fifth at the European Ladies' Amateur Championship. This has helped her enter the top-15 of the Women's Amateur Golf Rankings, currently the highest ranked Sun Devil sitting at No. 14.
A native of Sweden, Grant was tabbed a Second Team Preseason All-American by Golfweek. She is one of only two freshmen to earn a spot on the publication's preseason All-American first or second team, joined by Pepperdine's Alexa Melton. Golfweek also selected her as a Top 10 Freshman to Watch, as she figures to make an immediate impact in the lineup.
With Grant and Mehaffey both earning preseason All-American status, Arizona State is one of six schools to have two or more All-Americans, joined by fellow Pac-12 teams Stanford, UCLA, and USC along with Texas and Duke.Junior Raquel Olmos will be a mainstay in the lineup for a third consecutive season, as she continues to develop her game and display improvement from year-to-year. A season ago, she participated in 11 tournaments, posting the second highest stroke average (74.24) on the team. She finished in the Top-20 on seven occasions, highlighted by a second-place finish at the Windy City Invitational.
Olmos wrapped up her season with a strong showing at the NCAA Championship, finding herself in the Top-50 (T-43rd) of the individual race, tying for the best score by a Sun Devil for the tournament. She looks to build off a successful sophomore campaign heading into the 2019-20 season as one of the most important pieces of the Sun Devil lineup.
Sophomore Alexandra Forsterling was one of two Sun Devils to play in all 12 tournaments a season ago, posting the team's third-lowest scoring average at 74.75. She finished in the Top-20 in five different tournaments, showing flashes of brilliance including recording three rounds in the 60s. Forsterling's first appearance at the NCAA Championship was highlighted by an Eagle on the par-five 15th hole in the second round. Her second-round score of 73 was the best round turned-in by a Sun Devil at the Championships.
Fellow sophomore Alessandra Fanali quickly adjusted to the collegiate level after joining the Sun Devils as a mid-year enrollee last January. She showed growth in her game throughout the campaign, providing a glimpse into what Sun Devil fans will be in store for over the next few seasons. In her eight tournaments last season, she finished in the Top-30 on four different occasions. A low final round of 69 by Fanali at the Pac-12 Championship helped the Sun Devils catapult into third place as a team while also helping her move up nine spots in the individual standings, finishing in a tie for 13th. The big stage of the NCAA Championship did not affect her play, as she finished Top-50 (T-43th) in the country individually, tying the best finish by a Sun Devil.
Forsterling and Fanali give the Sun Devils one of the nation's deepest and most balanced lineups, with any of the five members capable of carrying the team on any given day. With a year of experience under their belt, the best has yet to come for the talented sophomore duo.
The Sun Devils will begin the season with five golfers on their roster, but will benefit from the addition of mid-year enrollee Amanda Linner, who will join the Sun Devils from Sweden. Much like fellow Sweden native Linn Grant, Linner brings a plethora of international experience with her to Tempe. She was a member of the 2018 European Junior Ryder Cup and 2017 European Junior Solheim Cup teams. Additionally, she competed in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, the Girls' British Open Amateur Championship, the European Ladies' Team Championship, and the Ladies' British Open Amateur Championship. She has won several tournaments including the 2017 ANNIKA Invitational Europe and Internationaux de France U21.
Coach Farr-Kaye had success in a similar scenario a season ago, when Alessandra Fanali enrolled in January. Fanali made a seamless transition to the collegiate game, becoming more comfortable as the season went on which helped her continuously improve. Linner will have a teammate in Fanali who has shared many of the same experiences, which should only help accelerate the transition process.
At the end of the season, Arizona State University and Grayhawk Golf Club will host the 2020 through 2022 NCAA Division I Men's & Women's Golf Championships on Golf Channel in Scottsdale, Ariz. It becomes the first time a university and golf course will host the championships for three consecutive seasons. The championship will be contested on Grayhawk Golf Club's Raptor course, a par-72, 7,090-yard Tom Fazio design that is listed among the "Best Public Golf Courses in Arizona" by Golf Magazine. It will be the first time ASU has hosted an NCAA Golf Championship since the women hosted in 1992.
For the latest updates, information, and results for Sun Devil Women's Golf throughout the season, be sure to follow our social media accounts (@SunDevilWLax) or visit our website TheSunDevils.com.
2019-20 Arizona State Women's Golf Schedule
September 16-18 – ANNIKA Intercollegiate (Lake Elmo, MN)
September 30th-October 1st – Windy City Collegiate Championship (Chicago, IL)
October 11-13 – Stanford Intercollegiate (Stanford, CA)
November 4-6 – Pac-12 Preview (Kailua Kona, HI)
January 26 – vs. UCLA & Denver (Gold Canyon, AZ)
February 9-11 – Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge (Palos Verdes, CA)
February 16-18 – Guadalajara International Invitational (Guadalajara, Mexico)
March 10-11 – Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational (Oahu, HI)
March 27-29 – PING/ASU Invitational (Phoenix, AZ)
April 24-26 – Pac-12 Championship (Stanford, CA)
May 11-13 – NCAA Regionals (Athens/Notre Dame/Pullman/Raleigh)
May 22-27 – NCAA Championship (Scottsdale, AZ)
Original source can be found here.