Mehaffey one of two Sun Devils set for US Women’s Open starts

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Olivia Mehaffey (Getty Images)

Olivia Mehaffey and Linn Grant will represent Arizona State at the upcoming US Women’s Open, taking place Dec. 10-13 at Champions Golf Club in Houston, earning exemptions based on their World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) position as of Nov. 4. They will join the 156-player field at one of the most iconic events in professional golf, having been played annually since 1946.

It will mark the second appearance for Mehaffey and Grant at the US Women’s Open, with both having previously competed in the 2018 edition. The Sun Devil duo will go head-to-head with the top female golfers in the world, including Sun Devil alumni and current LPGA stars Carlota Ciganda, Azahara Munoz, Anna Nordqvist, and Linnea Strom (1st U.S. Open appearance).

“After having so much taken away this year, it is fantastic to see two of our Sun Devils have the opportunity to play in the US Open,” Sun Devil Women’s Golf Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye exclaimed. “We also want to wish all of our Sun Devil alumni the best as they compete for the biggest major in women’s golf.”

In April 2020, the 75th U.S. Women’s Open Championship, originally scheduled for June 4-7, 2020, was postponed to Dec. 10-13 due to evolving dynamics of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This marks the first time that the U.S. Women’s Open will be played in December.

For the first time in U.S. Women’s Open history, the championship will be played on two courses. To account for reduced daylight given the move to December, the Jackrabbit Course at Champions Golf Club will be used in conjunction with the Cypress Creek Course, which was originally slated to host all four rounds of championship play. The Jackrabbit will co-host Rounds 1 and 2. Tee-times and starting holes will be announced by the USGA next week.

The Sun Devil golfers will not be the only members of the program heading to Champions Golf Club. Associate Head Coach Michelle Estill will serve as the caddy for Olivia Mehaffey, an important role that requires trust and communication. Having worked together since Mehaffey’s arrival in Tempe, Estill was the perfect fit.

“I’m so excited to be at the US Open supporting Olivia and Linn,” Coach Estill remarked. “They both have worked so hard and it will be fun to watch both. I’m caddying for Olivia and she has said she won’t make the bag too heavy.  Olivia was a freshman when I started at ASU and I feel blessed to be part of her journey.”

“It’s going to be a fun week with Coach Estill on the bag,” Mehaffey added, who prepares for her second career US Women’s Open and third LPGA Major Championship of 2020. She made her first cut at a major in September, completing all four rounds at the ANA Inspiration. Mehaffey has already accumulated professional experience that very few amateurs can match.

“I am very excited for the upcoming US Open and I feel very grateful to have the opportunity to represent ASU and Ireland at this major championship,” Olivia Mehaffey said. “I have loved every moment competing with the pros in the past and can’t wait to get going.”

“Olivia has done an amazing job handling the difficulties of this year and coming back for a 5th year,” Coach Farr-Kaye observed. “Getting to play in the US Open is a great reward for her patience and resilience!”

Already one of the most decorated golfers in the history of the Sun Devil Women’s Golf program, Mehaffey completed her fourth season in Tempe with a historic achievement. She became just the third four-time All-American in the history of the Arizona State Women’s Golf program after being selected to the Honorable Mention team by the WGCA. She joined an exclusive list of Sun Devils to have been named All-Americans after each of their four years, one that includes Sun Devil Athletics Hall of Famer Kellee Booth (1995-98) and current LPGA Tour standout Azahara Munoz (2006-09).

In addition to the WGCA recognition, Mehaffey was also one of three Sun Devils to also earn All-American distinction by Golfweek, the third consecutive year the senior accomplished the feat. Due to the unique circumstances, Mehaffey has a chance to claim a record that may never be matched. She has the potential to be the first five-time All-American not only in program history, but in NCAA history.

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