ASU men, women’s golf teams competing in Calif. tournaments

Both ASU golf teams are heading west to participate in their respective tournaments this week.

The men are traveling to the Los Angeles are to compete in a two-day contest, the North Ranch Intercollegiate Tournament in Westlake Village, Calif., from Monday through Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Sun Devil women will play in the three-day Cal Invitational tournament hosted by the Golden Bears at Ruby Hill Golf Club in Pleasanton, Calif., from Monday through Wednesday.

The North Ranch Invitational will be the fourth tournament in four weeks for the No. 47 ASU men’s team.

ASU men’s coach Tim Mickelson said he mishandled the scheduling for his team in the spring by planning too many tournaments too close to each other.

“If you look at my brother (Phil Mickelson) or Tiger (Woods), they don’t play every weekend,” he said. “It could be wearing on the guys. I just think the guys could be getting burnt out a little bit.”

Mickelson added that he’s not worried with his team’s physical state, but he is more concerned with the mental aspect of their game.

“Their games are good, but I just hope their minds are right,” he said.

ASU will be competing against 11 other teams in the 36-hole tourney hosted by No. 8 USC, including Liberty, BYU, Lipscomb, Pepperdine, San Diego, San Diego State, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara and Western Kentucky.

The Sun Devil squad will be made up of freshman Jon Rahm Rodriguez, Max Rottluff and Alberto Sanchez, as well as sophomores Austin Quick and Mathias Schjoelberg. A fourth freshman, Trey Kaahanui, will represent the maroon and gold individually.

Behind Rottluff, who has placed top 10 in three straight tournaments, Mickelson sees the North Ranch Intercollegiate as a real opportunity for victory. USC is the only team in the way of making that happen.

“I think we have a good chance to win,” he said. “Like any other team, USC has its weaknesses, and if we can take advantage of that, I see a good chance of that happening.”

Sophomore Austin Quick said he feels good, and, barring bad weather conditions, he could put up a good performance. However, he’s taking everything a step at a time.

“No predictions,” he said. “I just hope we come out on top at the end.”

Women head to Cal

For the women, coach Melissa Luellen isn’t making any predictions either.

“It’s about keeping control of the things you can,” she said. “We can only control the things that are part of the process by looking at where we are today and go from there.”

Her No. 17 Sun Devils will go up against No. 8 Stanford, No. 15 UC Davis, Cal, UNLV, Coastal Carolina, Oregon State, San Diego State, San Francisco, Fresno State and San Jose State.

Going into their second contest of the spring, Luellen’s group will be made up of sophomores Noemi Jimnez and Emilie Alonso, as well as juniors Laura Blanco, Daniela Ordonez and Nicole Jones.

Luellen is keeping the same goal that she has had throughout which is to beat teams ranked ahead of ASU. To make that happen, she said her players shouldn’t worry about their teammates during matches.

“Every girl needs to concentrate on their own game,” Luellen said. “They don’t need the additional pressure.”

The ASU squad just received a bit of good news, which could help ease the pressure on the ladies.

Luellen said one of the team’s top golfers, junior Justine Lee, is cleared to begin practicing her putting and chipping as she recovers from a wrist injury she suffered in 2012.

In their last and only tournament this spring, the team finished 12th (+68) at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge from Feb. 11 to Feb. 13.

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


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