Olivia Mehaffey has been recognised as the 2021 Pac-12 Women’s Golf Scholar Athlete of the Year, the conference has announced. The Sun Devil has already established herself as one of the greatest to ever wear the Maroon & Gold and she continues to add to her historic resume.
In the storied history of the Sun Devil Women’s Golf program, perhaps no one has done more for her school on and off the course than Mehaffey. The Royal County Down and Tandragee amateur has been a positive influence everywhere she’s played, bringing attention to female golf in Ireland while serving as a role model for aspiring golfers in Arizona.
A three-time First Team All-Pac-12 performer (2017, 2018, 2019) and four-time WGCA All-American (Second Team – 2018, 2019; Honourable Mention – 2017, 2020), Mehaffey has completed her undergraduate degree in sociology with a 3.75 grade-point average and is pursuing a graduate degree in organisational leadership with a current 4.00 GPA.
Electing to return for the 2020-21 season, the world number 17 ranked amateur has recorded three top-10 finishes for the Golfstat No. 7 nationally ranked Sun Devils, highlighted by a second-place showing in ASU’s victory at the Clover Cup. That runner-up performance featured a career-best and program-record 10-under-par 62 in the final round.
Additional career accomplishments include four individual event victories, highlighted by the 2019 Pac-12 individual and 2019 NCAA Norman Regional titles, along with a contributor on ASU’s 2017 NCAA National Championship team. She has amassed 23 career top-10 performances and 69 rounds under par including 22 rounds in the 60s, all totals that rank among the best in NCAA history. She recently became a five-time Pac-12 All-Conference honouree, the first in conference or program history.
“I loved college from the first moment I got here and I really value having a degree,” Mehaffey told us earlier this year. “It means a lot to me and it goes a long way in life. You never know what’s around the corner and for me, I didn’t think school was going to be so hard. I’d put all this work in and I wasn’t going to throw that away by turning pro early – I wanted to get my degree.
“I adore ASU, it’s so special to me and I want to leave a legacy here like so many great players have before me and leave my mark on the programme – that’s so important to me.”
She is also a four-time WGCA All-American Scholar and is on track to receive the distinction again. She was a contributor to Arizona State boasting the fifth-highest GPA among all Division I Women’s Golf teams during the 2017-18 season. She was a Pac-12 Spring Academic Honour Roll member in 2020 and prior to that made the Pac-12 All-Academic Second Team twice. She has made Dean’s List five times and has been a Sun Devil Scholar-Athlete nine times, earning the distinction every semester of her collegiate career.
Mehaffey is the sixth recipient of the honour from the Sun Devils’ women’s golf program. That is four more than the next highest school, as Arizona State has claimed 6 of the 13 possible awards. Arizona State now has a total of 36 Pac-12 Scholar Athletes of the Year, the second-highest total in the conference trailing only Stanford.
- Award background
In order to be eligible for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-12 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-12 staff members at the conclusion of each sport’s regular season. The athletics accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in voting for the award.
A Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be named in each of the Pac-12’s 24 sponsored sports: baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, beach volleyball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, football, men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, women’s lacrosse, men’s rowing, women’s rowing, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, softball, men’s swimming & diving, women’s swimming & diving, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s track & field, women’s track & field, women’s volleyball, and wrestling. The award was first established during the 2007-08 academic year.