SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Two years in the past the Arizona State males’s golf staff got here oh-so-close to a nationwide championship. Final 12 months the Solar Devils had been even nearer.
Coach Matt Thurmond’s squad will attempt to recover from that final hump when the 2023 NCAA Nationwide Championship tees off Friday at Grayhawk Golf Membership, which shall be internet hosting the occasion for the third straight 12 months.
The Solar Devils head into the occasion ranked No. 5 nationally within the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. Amongst others within the 30-team subject are No. 1 Vanderbilt, No. 2 Illinois, No. 3 North Carolina and No. 4 Georgia Tech.
ASU is coming off a convincing victory on the NCAA’s Las Vegas Regional, posting a rating of 59-under with Preston Summerhays main the hassle by going 19 beneath that positioned him third individually.
NCAAs: Staff scores | Particular person scores
“We had an ideal match,” Thurmond mentioned. “It positively was a neater course. How that compares to a 30-under on a more durable course, that’s arduous to say. I can say our guys are ready and so they’re taking part in nicely.”
Final season the Solar Devils misplaced within the championship match to Texas. The earlier 12 months they got here up brief in opposition to Oklahoma within the semifinals. Thurmond is hoping the third time’s the appeal however isn’t placing any further stress on his quintet.
“All these groups are good, actually good,” he mentioned. “You by no means know what’s going to occur, particularly while you get to match play. That’s all the time 50-50. After all we wish to win but when we don’t we’ve had an ideal season and it’s not a failure.”
The staff options two gamers who had been within the beginning lineup final season in Summerhays, a finalist for the Haskins Award, and fellow sophomore Josele Ballester.
Senior Ryggs Johnston was not within the beginning lineup final 12 months however was in 2021. He even positioned third individually together with his match highlighted by a career-best 7-under 63 within the second spherical.
Rounding out the beginning 5 are freshmen Luke Potter and Michael Mjaaseth, whom Thurmond says appear unaffected by stress conditions.
Whereas the match-play format isn’t essentially the norm in faculty golf in the course of the common season, Thurmond says his gamers are used to taking part in in that pressure-paced state of affairs. They competed within the East Lake Cup the final two years. This season the Solar Devils defeated Pepperdine, one other staff on this week’s subject, then misplaced to Vanderbilt 3-2.
Thurmond mentioned his gamers have additionally performed in novice occasions which have match play.
Final 12 months, the Solar Devils completed the stroke play portion of the NCAAs in first to earn the highest seed within the match play portion of the occasion.
“It’s not one thing new for our guys,” Thurmond mentioned. “They’re all fairly snug in that state of affairs. I’m more than happy with how we’re taking part in. Now we simply must go on the market and do it for six extra days.”
NCAA Division I Males’s Golf Championships
Web site: Grayhawk Golf Membership, Scottsdale.
Raptor course: 7,289 yards, par 70.
Defending champion: Texas (defeated ASU within the closing, 3-2).
Format: 4 rounds of stroke play with the sphere minimize from 30 to fifteen after Sunday’s third spherical and minimize to eight after Monday’s fourth spherical. The person champ can also be topped Monday. Match play quarterfinals and semifinals on Tuesday, championship match is about for Wednesday.
Groups: Arizona State, Stanford, Virginia, San Francisco, East Tennessee State, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Chattanooga, Ohio State, Colorado State, Georgia, Illinois, Oregon, Florida, Texas, Mississippi State, Brigham Younger, Florida State, Baylor, Pepperdin, Alabama, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas Tech, Duke, Georgia Tech, Arkansas, North Carolina, New Mexico, Texas A&M.
Particular person qualifiers: Drew Salyers, Indiana; Luke O’Neill, Kansas State; Jonas Baumgartner, Oklahoma State; Riley Lewis, Loyola Marymount; Will King, Kansas; Sam Lape, Furman.
Notes: Eleven groups within the subject have gained a nationwide title, led by Stanford with eight, the latest coming in 2019. Florida and Texas every have 4. ASU has two titles, in 1990 and 1996. Vanderbilt’s Gordon Sargent gained the person championship final season as a freshman and returns with the Commodores. The present format of stroke play adopted by match play was adopted in 2009.