SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Arizona State golf standout Olivia Mehaffey was trying ahead to a stellar senior season final season, capped off with the chance to play for an NCAA championship on a house course.
That 2020 season didn’t precisely go as deliberate with the coronavirus pandemic derailing these plans.
The native of Belfast, Ireland, determined to take the NCAA up on its supply of an additional season for these spring sport athletes whose seasons had been adversely affected.
Now that long-awaited probability is right here, because the No. 11 Sun Devils be part of 23 different regional qualifiers for the six-day NCAA women’s golf championship which begins on Friday at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale.
The males’s occasion begins on May 28 on the identical course, marking the sixth time in historical past that each may have been held at the identical venue the identical yr.
“That’s a big reason I decided to come back,” Mehaffey stated. “It was tough missing out last season but that just gave us more time to get to know this course. We’ve been preparing for this and we’re ready to go.”
Those within the Sun Devil camp insist there isn’t a stress as the house team or as one of many main contenders. ASU is making its thirty sixth look within the occasion and is available in boasting an NCAA-best eight titles, the final coming in 2017.
Mehaffey (73.94) is the lone senior in ASU’s beginning 5. She is joined by junior Alessandra Fanali (74.13), sophomores Linn Grant (70.70) and Amanda Linner (74.39) and freshman Ashley Menne (73.71). Grant tied for second at the regional, aided by a 2-under within the closing spherical.
Coach Missy Farr-Kaye says there’s extra stress within the regional, the step earlier than nationals. The Sun Devils positioned second within the Columbus, Ohio regional, bouncing again properly after a troublesome first day wherein climate circumstances had been tough.
“If we’ve learned anything in the last year it’s about how to adjust,” Farr-Kaye stated. “It can be weather conditions or other things. I have really been proud of this team and how they have been able to adapt. That’s not always easy.”
ASU and Arizona are among the many six Pac-12 groups within the area. Only the SEC has extra at seven, with that group led by No. 1 South Carolina.
For Mehaffey the occasion will mark the tip of her ASU profession. She’ll be turning skilled as quickly because the occasion wraps up, competing in a Symetra Tour occasion in Florida two days later.
The Sun Devils say they’re targeted on having fun with the expertise, quite than the stress that comes with taking part in for a championship.
“This is the last time we’re going to play together so we just want to go out there and have fun,” Mehaffey stated. “We want to enjoy the environment and the atmosphere and see what happens. Not everybody gets to play for a championship close to home so we’re excited about that opportunity.”
Arizona is a part of the national match area for a twenty third time, with three titles to its credit score, the newest coming in 2018. The Wildcats positioned fifth within the Stanford regional led by the efficiency of senior Yu-Sang Hou, who was fourth individually.
The complete occasion can be held on the 7,151-yard, par-72 Raptor course, which is difficult.
“There’s really not a hole where you can relax. It’s a tough course and the greens are hard to read,” Grant stated. “We have played it so we’ll know it better than the other teams so that’s definitely an advantage but we’re still going to have to play well.”
NCAA Women’s Golf championship
Site: Grayhawk Golf Club Scottsdale (Raptor Course)
Format: 54 holes of stroke play (Friday-Sunday). Following the primary three rounds, the top-15 groups together with the highest 9 people not on an advancing team advance to the ultimate day of stroke play Monday to find out the highest eight groups for match play competitors and the 72-hole stroke play particular person champion. The high eight groups then compete in match play for the NCAA Championship on with quarter- and semifinals on Tuesday and the ultimate on Wednesday.
Defending champion: There was no match final yr as a result of COVID-19 (Duke gained in 2019).
Qualifying groups: Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, Baylor, Duke, Florida State, Georgia, Kent State, Kentucky, LSU, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi, Oklahoma State, Oregon, South Carolina, Stanford, Texas, UCLA, USC, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest.