Pac-12 Championship: Arizona pulls into the lead by three shots
27 Apr 2024
by Sean Melia of AmateurGolf.com

see also: View results for Pac-12 Championship, Desert Forest Golf Club, Wenyi Ding Rankings

Wenyi Ding holds a one shot lead with 18 holes left. (ASU)
Wenyi Ding holds a one shot lead with 18 holes left. (ASU)

After the first round of the Pac-12 Championship, Arizona State trailed Washington by 16 shots. Over the last 36 holes, they slowly reeled in the leaders and now find themselves at the top of the leaderboard heading into the final round on Sunday at Desert Forest Golf Club.

The Sun Devils have two players in the top three individually. Wenyi Ding shot a 70 and leads, while Ryggs Johnston shot 69 and is tied for third. Conner Williams and Preston Summerhayes both shot 73 and Jose Luis Ballester’s 77 rounded out the Sun Devil’s scoring for the day. Their 362 (+7) was the second best team score of the day.

The best round of the day was turned in by California, who only fielded five players as Aaron Du did not compete. The Bears shot 360 (+5) and were paced by Sampson Zheng’s 65, which was the best score of the day by two shots. Ethan Feng, who is in second place individually, shot 71. Nathan Wang and Eric Lee both shot 3-over and Jaewon Park rounded out the five scores for Cal with a 76.

Tied with Cal is Washington, which has been slipping backward since its incredible opening round of 349 (-6). It was the only team score of the event under par. They shot 19-over par in the second round and 20-over par in the third round. Bo Peng led the Huskies with a 72. Chuan-Tai Lin, Taehoon Song, and Peter Hruby all shot 75. Finn Koelle (78) was the fifth counting score.

Oregon is five shots off the lead, and Stanford is 11 shots back. They mark the teams that will most likely be in the hunt, as the sixth-place team, Oregon State, is thirty shots behind ASU.

Wenyi Ding, the 2022 U.S. Junior Champion, holds the 54-hole lead at 2-under par. Ethan Fang is one-under par after carding a very steady 16 par, one birdie, one bogey round. Ryggs Johnston climbed eight spots up the leaderboard into third place after shooting 69. The round was capped by a stellar back nine 32, and he’s in 1-over par. Karl Vilips is also one-over par.

A trio of golfers are five shots behind Ding. Zheng moved up 27 spots after his 65, and USC’s Jose Antonio Safa’s 67 helped him move up 17 spots. Michael Thorbjornsen, who was the first-round leader after shooting 65, has struggled the other two rounds with 76 and 75.


After lighting delayed the completion of the second round on Friday, six teams returned on Saturday morning to wrap up their second round. The Washington Huskies hold a seven-shot lead over Oregon at Desert Forest Golf Club.

In the first round on Friday, things came rather easily for the Washington Huskies. They were the only team in the field to shoot under par.  Chuan-Tai Lin was the low scorer in the first round for Washington with a 5-under 66. Finn Koelle (68), Taehoon Song (71), and Drew Warford (71), and Petr Hruby (73) were the other four counting scores in this five-count-four event. 

Defending champion Stanford shot four-over par, led by last year’s individual champion Michael Thorbjornsen, who shot an opening round 5-under 66. The top three for Stanford delivered, as Karl Vilips shot 3-under 68 and Ethan Gao shot 1-under 70. However, they had to count a 76 from Jake Beber-Frankel and an 80 from Sean-Karl Dobson as their other counting scores, leaving them off the Husky's pace. Stanford completed their second round before the delay. They are currently in fourth place after shooting 23-over par in the second round.

Thorbjornsen is currently ranked No. 2 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Rankings.

In a bit of a surprise, Utah shot 11-over par for third place. Brandon Robinson and Javier Barcos both shot 1-under 70, and Sergio Jimenez shot 1-over 72. Like Stanford, the Utes had to sustain some big scores, too. 77s from Braxton Watts and Go Nakatsukasa rounded out their counting scores. Utah did slip down the leaderboard throughout play in the second round. Before the lighting delay, they were 39-over par with players still on the course and T9.

Maybe as surprising as Utah’s strong start was Arizona’s slow start. Scoreboard’s No. 3 ranked team in the country shot 13-over par in the first round. Wenyi Ding was the only Sun Devil to break par with a 1-under 70. Jose Luis Ballester shot 1-under 70, while Connor Williams and Preston Summerhays both shot 4-over 75. Michael Mjaaseth was the fifth counting score with a 77.

Scores ballooned in the afternoon of Friday's second round. Only four players shot under par:Ethan Fang (70), Peter Hruby (70), Ryggs Johnston (67), and Aiden Krafft (69).

Washington managed to maintain a lead, but their team score was 25 shots higher from round one to round two. Hruby's exceptional 70 was pivotal for the Huskies. Bo Peng (75), Taehoon Song (76), Finn Koelle (76), and Drew Warford (77) were the other counting scores. 

Arizona State and Oregon both climbed into the mix in the second round with strong scores.

Oregon followed a 13-over par first round with a 7-over par second round. Their second-round score was the best in the field. Aiden Krafft was the only Duck under par in the second round with his 68. Eric Doyle and Nate Stember each carded 72 and Gregory Solhaug (74) and Greyson Leach (75) were the other counting scores. 

ASU did finish before the delay with a score of 10-over par. Ryggs Johnston shot the low score of the second round with an incredible 67, while Wenyi Ding backed him up with a solid 71. That duo helped the Sun Devils make up for a slow start. Michael Mjaaseth (74), Jose Luis Ballester (76), and Conner Williams (77) were the other counting scores. ASU's score in the second round was only three shots better than their first-round score, but given the challenging conditions, it was the second-best score from a team in the second round.

Stanford, the defending champion, is in fourth place. The Cardinal's second-round score was 19 shots higher than its opening round. The Cardinal didn't have anyone shoot under par in the second round. Jake Beber-Frankel led the team with a 74. 

A trio of players are in a tie at the top of the individual leaderboard at 1-under par. Michael Thorbjornsen shot 65-76, Wenyi Ding shot 70-71, and Ethan Fang shot 71-70. Oregon's Gregory Solhaug sits one shot back of the leaders at even par and another trio of players are one-over par - Hruby, Kraftt, and Vilips.

Due to the restart of the second round on Saturday morning, the third round will start at 10:30 am PST. The championship will finish on Sunday following the fourth round of play. There is no match-play portion of the Pac-12 championship.

Results: Pac-12 Championship
1AustraliaKarl VilipsAustralia80068-75-71-68=282
2MTRyggs JohnstonLibby, MT50078-67-69-69=283
T3MexicoOmar MoralesMexico40069-75-77-65=286
T3TXEthan FangPlano, TX40071-70-71-74=286
5NorwayGregory SolhaugNorway40068-74-75-70=287

View full results for Pac-12 Championship

ABOUT THE Pac-12 Championship

72-hole men's collegiate championship of the Pac-12 Conference with simultaneous team and individual competitions. Unlike most college tournaments, the best five scores of six players account for the team score each day.

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