Arizona State, Preston Summerhays claim ASU Thunderbird titles
ASU Athletics photo
Trailing by seven shots on the back nine in the final round of its own tournament, Arizona State had some major work to do Saturday at Papago Golf Club in Phoenix.
The third-ranked Sun Devils met the challenge head on and when sophomore Preston Summerhays rolled birdies on the final two holes for a round of 66, Arizona State had completed a furious rally to win the ASU Thunderbird Collegiate by a single stroke over rival Arizona.
At 13-under 200 (66-68-66), Summerhays claimed medalist honors by four shots over a trio of Arizona Wildcats, Chase Sienkiewicz, Sam Sommerhauser and Zach Pollo, who was playing as an individual. Summerhays joins a list of past Thunderbird championship that includes Jon Rahm, Phil Mickelson, Paul Casey, Steve Jones and Paul Casey, to name a few.
"With everyone watching, you need someone to step up on the back nine and Preston did," said ASU head coach Matt Thurmond. "With everyone watching and following that group, we made the clutch putts at the end. It felt like everything was going Arizona's way early but I just tried to keep my energy up and make sure they knew we still had a chance."
The Sun Devils trailed by as many as seven strokes on the back nine, only to rattle off 15 birdies on the inward nine, including five from Summerhays and four from Michael Mjaaseth, to claim the team title.
"I got off to a pretty slow start, even through nine, but got it going on the back," said Summerhays, "This event is going to play a big role in the events coming up. We've been good but haven't gotten our wins yet. I think we're peaking at the right time."
The Sun Devils finished at 28-under par, one stroke ahead of Arizona and eight clear of second-ranked North Carolina.
Arizona State and Arizona hope to take its momentum north to the Pac-12 Championships, which are scheduled to begin on Friday, April 28 at Stanford Golf Course.
Arizona State Athletic Communications contributed to this report
ABOUT THE ASU Thunderbird Invite
54 hole men's college tournament hosted by
Arizona State University. Team (best four scores out
five players each round) and individual competitions.
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