Sun Devil men's golf (ASU Athletics/Twitter photo)
With Oklahoma State making so much noise in college golf – four team titles, eight individual titles – other team performances have fallen under the national radar. Arizona State’s 50-under tournament total and subsequent 21-shot win Tuesday at the National Invitational might change that as postseason inches closer.
The numbers behind Arizona State’s week are head-turning, but so are the numbers behind this team’s whole season. After four runner-up finishes in five fall starts, the Sun Devils have now won three times in the spring. They are ranked No. 4 in the Golfweek
/Sagarin College Rankings.
Arizona State’s 50-under total included a second-round 25-under 263 at Omni Tucson (Ariz.) National that stands as the best round by an Arizona State team in the modern era (also called the Golfstat era, beginning with the 1993-94 season).
Even a final-round 17-under 271 was at least seven shots better than any other team’s final-round score.
"In our nine events we've been in the final pairing for the final round. Those rounds are very high pressure and intensity and we've done well, but it's hard to always be up and to bring your best every time," notes head coach Matt Thurmond. "Today we got off to a great start and just never looked back. This was the first time I've seen us keep the foot pressed fully down on the gas all the way to the end. It was our first comfortable final nine of the season.”
USC was 29 under and 21 shots back in second. Oklahoma was 28 under and solo third.
Individually, Arizona State junior Alex del Rey overtook USC senior Justin Suh by one shot with a final-round 66 to win. It is Del Ray’s second medal as a Sun Devil and his sixth top-10 finish of the season.
Teammates Won Jun Lee (third) and Chun An Yu (T-5) joined him in the top 5.
Arizona State plays two more times – including next month’s ASU Thunderbird Invitational – before the Pac-12 Championship. The Sun Devils have the best ranking in the conference, followed closely by USC.
Information from Arizona State Athletics used in this report
ABOUT THE National Invitational Collegiate
54 hole men's college tournament hosted by the
University of Arizona. Team (best four scores of five
players each day) and individual competitions.
View Complete Tournament Information