The Sun Devils led the Mason Rudolph Invitational after the first round, only to watch it slip away on day two. The Sun Devils finished with a 6-over 870. UCLA (14-under 850) won the event. The host team Vanderbilt (12-over 876) finished tied for third.
Senior Laura Blanco (3-over 219) and junior Emilie Alonso (9-over 225) led the charge for the Sun Devils on the opening day, shooting 2-under 70 and 1-under 71 respectively. Blanco scored three birdies, while Alonso tapped in five. Blanco and Alonso contributed to ASU shooting an impressive 3-under 285 in the opening round.
The Sun Devils ran into a rough patch on the second day. ASU shot a dismal 5-over 293 to fall back to the pack. Much of the poor play was due to the sudden change in the weather– over an inch of rain fell onto the course the evening prior of the second round. Coach Melissa Luellen explained how the climate was a severe change for the Sun Devil golfers.
“The course conditions changed a lot from the first day,” said Luellen. “The wind also switched out of the north which was completely opposite direction than the first round. The course even played long in the last two rounds for our longest hitters.”
Despite the sudden climate change, ASU played well in the final round to secure their second place finish. Junior Noemi Jimenez (1-over 217) helped ASU maintain their standing by shooting a 4-under 68 on the third day. Jimenez finished tied for ninth in the tournament.
Although ASU had hoped to win the tournament, Coach Luellen says that second place will do just fine.
“Our goal was to finish in the top four in this tournament, because there were three teams ranked ahead of us,” said Luellen. “Second place was a solid finish. UCLA played very well.”
ASU next plays on Oct. 5-7 at the Schooner Fall Classic, held in Norman, Okla.
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