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After third cancer diagnosis, a gritty Missy Farr-Kaye leads Arizona State to NCAA match play

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — After the spherical on Monday, Missy Farr-Kaye advised her Sun Devil crew it was over. She cried. Told them they’d had a tough yr and that no matter occurs, occurs. It would all be OK.

They went over to Phil’s Grill and sat on the patio to have lunch and watch the end. The grill at Grayhawk is known as after ASU alum Phil Mickelson, who turned golf’s oldest main champion when he won the PGA on Sunday. Perhaps the mojo of the place would rub off.

Lo and behold, a shift occurred. Wake Forest beginning plummeting down the board. The nuns at Farr-Kaye’s alma mater, Xavier Prep, texted to say they have been praying. ASU gamers stored playfully hitting their coach, telling Farr-Kaye that she’d referred to as it too quick.

“I said that was the omen, I had already ended the season,” stated Farr-Kaye. “I couldn’t be happier to be wrong on that one.”

Arizona State and Arizona completed 4 rounds of stroke play knotted at 21 over. Arizona took the eighth seed primarily based on the cumulative rating of all 5 gamers and can face Stanford within the quarterfinals Tuesday morning. Arizona State will sq. off towards Duke.

NCAA Womens Golf: NCAA Women's Golf Championship

NCAA Womens Golf: NCAA Women’s Golf Championship

Arizona State golfer Ashley Menne putts on the tenth inexperienced in the course of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Photo by Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinal, led by freshman Rachel Heck, who won the individual title, completed 13 strokes forward of the sphere. Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Texas and Auburn spherical of the eight groups that superior. Auburn’s 10-under 278 is the bottom NCAA Championship spherical in class historical past.

Melissa Luellen, who spent 13 seasons as head coach at ASU earlier than shifting to Auburn, admittedly needed to throw up at one level as bogeys began to pepper the board, however wound up crying tears of pleasure when it was over, calling it among the best golf she’s ever seen.

“I think it’s very advantageous to come from behind,” she stated, “but when you’re 11 behind, that’s a big mountain to climb. I’ve been in situations where we’ve had 5 holes left and it’s a 13-shot swing. I’ve had a 22-shot lead and lost in on the last day … anything can happen.”

Luellen credited a shift in course administration for the Tigers’ turnaround, holding driver within the bag and hitting extra 3-woods and 5-woods to discover the fairways. Auburn improved 27 strokes from Day 1 to Day 4.

Florida State, on the lookout for its first match-play look, appeared primed to pressure a playoff till freshman Alice Hodge, sometimes a mannequin of consistency, double-bogeyed her last gap. The Seminoles and LSU completed one shot shy of a playoff.

Both Oklahoma State and Ole Miss superior to match play for the primary time in class historical past. Stanford, the 2015 champions, has made match play all six occasions.

There was a second this spring when Farr-Kaye thought she’d misplaced her 2017 NCAA Championship ring. Chemo fog is actual, she stated. She forgets names, the place she put issues.

“It kills so many good cells along with the bad cells,” she stated.

Farr-Kaye, 53, a two-time breast cancer survivor, was recognized with colon cancer final November. Just earlier than Thanksgiving, Farr-Kaye’s three sons dropped her on the hospital door for surgical procedure – to take away the mass and her appendix – and picked her up three days later.

Farr-Kaye completed her chemo therapies in April and is cancer-free however nonetheless feels the results. Adrenaline will get her by way of these lengthy days, and he or she walks much less. Though she lives about 25 minutes away from Grayhawk she’s staying on the crew resort this week to keep away from the temptation to do house responsibilities.

Picking a favourite championship, she stated, is like selecting a favourite child. Impossible to do. But a third bout with cancer and a international pandemic places this one in a distinctive class of resilience.

“I couldn’t be more blessed right now,” she stated.

Hopefully the nuns are again at it tomorrow.



Match play quarterfinals, 9 a.m., Golf Channel

  • No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 8 Arizona

  • No. 2 Duke vs. No. 7 Arizona State

  • No. 3 Oklahoma State vs. No. 6 Auburn

  • No. 4 Ole Miss vs. No. 5 Texas

Match play semifinals, 2 p.m., Golf Channel


Match play championship, 2 p.m., Golf Channel

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