Men’s golf heads to Washington for Kikkor Invitational

No. 37 ASU will open the 2013-14 season on Sept. 16 at the University of Washington Kikkor Invitational.

Sophomore Jon Rahm will be leading the way for the Sun Devils. He is coming off his incredible freshman campaign in which he won Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and was selected on the All-Freshman Team. Rahm said he is looking forward to the season and expects big things.

“I have to say that I am really excited about the team,” Rahm said. “All the new players that came this year are excellent players. I can’t wait until we play, because I am so sure that we are going to surprise everybody. We will fight hard to take ASU golf to the top five programs in the nation, where it belongs to be. We have the best coaches, great facilities and great weather. We will take it to the top.”

Aside from propelling ASU as a team to the top of the rankings, Rahm has made it his mission to exceed his second-place finish in the NCAA individuals.

“My expectations are going to be higher. I know I can play better,” said Rahm. “Individually speaking, I will have the same goal as last year to win Nationals. I could have won last year, so I am going to push hard to win this year.”

ASU wants to show the nation that last season’s fifth place finish in the NCAA championship was not a fluke. The Sun Devils are determined to return to the championship and finish what they started, something coach Tim Mickelson said he anticipates.

“I expect us to have a great year,” Mickelson said. “We are very talented and very deep. We are a little banged up with injuries to start the year, but we should be fine in a couple weeks. While I prefer to keep our goals as a team confidential, we have high expectations.”

This team is poised to contend for the next few years with their young talent. Other standout players include sophomores Trey Kaahanui and Max Rottluff. Kaahanui said he sees great things in the upcoming season.

“As a team we are definitely excited and pumped to begin our fall season,” said Kaahanui. “It’s awesome to be headed out to Washington. We have five team players and three individuals. It was a great tournament last year. It was a great eye opener for us at the beginning of the season.”

The Sun Devils were thrilled to have finished fifth in the NCAA championship, but they have taken that experience and will look to build upon it.

“We didn’t finish up where we wanted, but thankfully, we took a lot of positives out of it and kicked into gear for the remaining of the fall and spring season,” Kaahanui said.

 

Reach the reporter at afeyrer@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @coffeeblack910