Alonso steps up for ASU’s injured women’s golf team

The injuries for the ASU women’s golf team are starting to pile up.

Junior Justine Lee withdrew from the Stanford Intercollegiate with a wrist injury after two uncharacteristic high rounds, leaving the Sun Devils without a drop score in the final round.

“Today (Sunday) was difficult with Justine unable to play, due to her injured wrist,” coach Melissa Luellen said. “It was bothering her since before we left (for the Stanford Intercollegiate).

“We weren’t sure if she’d be able to play and she toughed it out (but) it was getting worse, so we pulled her.”

Lee was struggling at 13-over through the first two rounds, and was ASU’s drop score both days.

“You could kind of tell something was off,” Luellen said.

In Lee’s absence, sophomore Emilie Alonso, playing as the No. 5 golfer, stepped up big for ASU at three-under in the final round, propelling the Sun Devils to a sixth place finish at 22-over.

Overall, Alonso was ASU’s top finisher, placing ninth in the 90-player field that featured more than 25 percent of the players ranked in the Golfstat top 100.

Luellen added Alonso’s attitude and her performance in the clutch was huge for the team.

Luellen said Lee followed Alonso during the final round and told Luellen, “Wow! I’m so impressed with how positive her attitude is (and) how she approaches every shot and every day.”

In terms of place and relation to par, this was Alonso’s best invitational in her early ASU career. She fired a personal-best 68 in the third round. Alonso shot eight strokes better than her prior invitational-best, and hadn’t cracked the top-25 of an invitational before the Stanford Intercollegiate.

“She’s worked really hard,” Luellen said. “She’s been in a little bit of a funk the last year, even before she came to ASU, and she’s really been working her way out of it, and what a wonderful reward for her hard work – a nice 68.”

Outside of Alonso, the Sun Devils struggled in the final round. ASU’s top three golfers were 14-over combined in the final round. ASU could have used a drop score to climb a little higher in the final standings.

In addition to Lee’s injury, junior Daniela Ordonez entered the Stanford Intercollegiate with a back injury, but was able to play through the pain.

Luellen said Ordonez is “about 50 percent” healthy now and was “about 60 percent” prior to the Stanford Intercollegiate.

Sophomore Noemi Jimenez was ASU’s next best finisher at 21st place with a 5-over invitational total, but slipped in the player ladder with a 4-over final round.

Juniors Ordonez and Laura Blanco carded 6-over and 9-over respectively, both in the top half of the field.

 

Reach the reporter at Justin.Janssen@asu.edu