Olivia Mehaffey fired a team high four birdies in bitterly cold conditions on Monday as the Sun Devil Women’s Golf team opened the 2021 season with a victory at the Match in the Desert, defeating UCLA and Denver at Superstition Mountain Golf Club.
Arizona State battled extremely cold and windy conditions, playing with poise and confidence down the stretch before cruising to a season-opening victory. The Maroon and Gold finished 14 strokes ahead of second place, dominating the field despite experiencing harsh weather for all 36 holes.
Mehaffey carded rounds of 71 and 75 for a two-over tally and outright sixth place.
Her teammates Alexandra Forsterling and Linn Grant split Individual medalist honours, shooting 143 (-1) to claim the title. Four of the top-six finishers were Sun Devils, as Head Coach Missy Farr-Kaye’s squad demonstrated why they are considered one of the top teams in the country. The average round for a Sun Devil was 72.5, compared to a 75.5 stroke average from the rest of the field.
“I am so happy for Lexi and Linn getting the win for our first tournament of the season,” said Farr-Kaye. “It took tremendous determination and resilience to finish strong in some of the most challenging conditions I have ever experienced in college golf!”
The toughness and focus of the Sun Devil Women’s Golf team proved to be the difference, as they navigated hail, wind, rain, cold, and eventually snow in Gold Canyon to claim the program’s fifth consecutive Team Championship in this event.
“It was a great feeling to be back out on the course and competing with my teammates,” said Fosterling. “I am thrilled to be able to share the Individual Champion with Linn and even happier that we were able to win the Team title. I am proud of the way we battled through the weather to finish strong.”
“This was a great opportunity for our team to get some reps in to get ready for the Sun Devil Winter Classic in February,” Coach Farr-Kaye added.
Up against Mehaffey and co this week was Lurgan’s Annabel Wilson who started for UCLA. After a brilliant opening two-under 70, the 2019 Irish Women’s Close champion ground out a 78 in difficult conditions on Monday, enjoying an individual top-10 result in a share of seventh at four-over par.
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The Sun Devils now prepare to host the first-ever Sun Devil Winter Classic at Talking Stick Golf Club at Talking Stick Resort and Casino in Scottsdale, Arizona. The event takes place February 15-17.