ASU men’s golf faces heavy competition in The Prestige

After a 10-day layoff for the ASU men’s golf team, the Sun Devils travel to Palm Desert, Calif., to compete in The Prestige tournament from Feb. 18 to Feb. 20.

At the PGA West’s Greg Norman Course, ASU will face off against 15 teams. The 54-hole tournament’s field includes No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Washington, No. 6 UCLA, No. 8 USC, No. 13 Texas Christian, No. 14 Stanford, No. 15 Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Colorado, Oregon, Pepperdine, San Diego State and UC Davis.

A special entry, Scotland’s University of Stirling, will appear in the contest.

The ASU squad will be made up of freshmen Jon Rahm Rodriguez, Max Rottluff and Alberto Sanchez, as well as sophomores Austin Quick and Mathias Schjoelberg. Sophomore Brandon Cloete will represent ASU as an individual entrant.

Mickelson’s group will play off of Rottluff’s momentum, coming off two straight top 10 finishes the Arizona Invitational and the Amer Ari Invitational in Hawaii.

“Max will be going into the tournament with the team’s No. 1 position,” coach Tim Mickelson said.

After a 10-day layoff, Mickelson said his players are hitting the ball very well.

He said expects his two sophomores, Quick and Schjoelberg, to provide leadership because of their previous experience at The Prestige tournament.

Quick thinks the layout of the Greg Norman Course at PGA West will be particularly beneficial to his play.

“I played well there last year,” he said. “It’s the type of course that works well for my game.”

The Prestige tournament in past years has traditionally been helpful during the fall season. But a recent change scheduled the tournament in the spring for the first time, and Mickelson loves it.

“It’s absolutely perfect,” he said. “The grass is nice, the weather’s great, (and) the greens are in great condition. We have no excuses to not play well.”

Recently, the team has been playing well, and it has shown in the rankings. ASU started the spring season ranked No. 72 and, after Wednesday’s latest update of the golfweek.com standings, the Sun Devils are now at No. 47.

“I expect for us to stay anywhere between 30 and 50,” Mickelson said. “Where we will really move up is during regionals and championship rounds. We need as many wins as possible and to keep putting up good performances.”

In its last appearance at The Prestige, ASU came in seventh place with a team score of -6.

Live scoring of the tournament will be available at golfstat.com

Reach the reporter at adrian.martinez.1@asu.edu