ASU men’s golf endures setback at Alister MacKenzie Invite

After its best performance of the season at the Pac-12 Preview, the ASU men’s golf team suffered a setback at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational in Fairfax, Calif.

ASU finished 13th out of 16 schools in the invitational at 13-over-par. The Sun Devils lost to the four other Pac-12 schools in the invitational, three of which they beat at the Pac-12 Preview last week.

“It’s frustrating for sure,” assistant coach Michael Beard said. “We feel like our team is so much better than the way we’re performing. Having two sophomores and three freshmen, they’re pretty young and sometimes we forget that.”

Beard said that the team is experiencing difficulty recovering from off-target shots, and to be more consistent, the team needs to avoid all the double and triple bogeys currently plaguing the team.

“When we get in trouble, whether we miss a fairway or get in a condition where we need to recover (and) just put a little damage control on it,” Beard said.

Freshman Jon Rahm Rodriquez led ASU for the third consecutive invitational at one-over. Once again, he shined on the par-5, shooting six-under on the nine par-5s.

Beard said Rahm Rodriquez looks at the par-5s as a par-4 because of how far he can drive the ball off the tee.

“He loves playing par-5s because he hits it long,” Beard said. “He’s in attack mode. When he gets to a par-5, he’s looking to make eagle and when he doesn’t, he makes birdie.”

There were some other bright spots in the Alister MacKenzie Invitational, such as freshman Max Rottluff’s four-under first round and freshman Alberto Sanchez’s two-under final round.

Collectively, the mistakes still outweighed the good.

“Our guys did a lot of good today, a lot of birdies, a lot of good shots, but we still have too many doubles (bogeys),” Beard said. “It kills momentum. Even when we had something going, we were kind of slowed down a little with a double here or there.”

Rottluff was 10-over in the final round, and sophomores Austin Quick and Mathias Schjoelberg were a combined nine-over in the final round.

Outside of Rahm Rodriquez, the rest of the team finished within two strokes of each other. Sanchez and Schjoelberg shot seven-over each, Rottluff was eight-over and Quick nine-over.

No. 1 California, who hosted the invitational, won at 46-under-par. The Golden Bears also captured the team crown at the Pac-12 Preview.

 

Reach the reporter at justin.janssen@asu.edu