ASU men’s golf faces two ranked opponents in Redhawk Invitational

Momentum is on ASU men’s golf’s side as it travels to Washington to compete in the Redhawk Invitational from April 7 to April 8. The tournament, hosted by Seattle University, is the first time the Redhawks have hosted a tournament in 35 years.

The Sun Devils most recently finished in first place in their own tournament, the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, on March 23 behind a record performance from sophomore Jon Rahm.

Coach Tim Mickelson said the momentum should help the team, but just wants to see his team make progress.

 

 

“Certainly, we have confidence from our recent win,” Mickelson said. “The important thing is to simply keep making progress towards the postseason which starts with the Pac-12 championships at the end of April.”

In its victory in Tempe, ASU set the tournament record for lowest score in the history of the tournament with 817. Rahm shot 21-under and set both tournament and school records for 54-hole final score.

The win in the Thunderbird Invitational was also Mickelson’s first outright victory since he was hired as men’s golf head coach in 2011.

However, Tacoma, Wash., is a very different place from Tempe and will offer different challenges for the Sun Devil squad, especially when weather is involved.

ASU will have to play its best to overcome a strong field of other Pac-12 teams, including nationally ranked Washington and UCLA.

The teams competing in Tacoma will be ASU, Seattle U, No. 12 Washington, No. 22 UCLA, Oregon State, UA, North Carolina State, Denver, Long Beach State, Boise State, Cal State Northridge, Nevada, Northern Colorado, Northern Illinois, Pepperdine, Seton Hall and St. John’s.

The Redhawk Invitational is also a two-day tournament. The last time the Sun Devils played a two-day tournament this season was late October, in which they finished third in the Bill Cullum Invitational.

They have played three other two-day tournaments this season and have finished in the top five in each one.

After the Sun Devils wrap up play in Tacoma, Wash., on April 8, they will only have the Western Intercollegiate in Santa Cruz, Calif., before postseason play begins on April 25 in Marana, Ariz., with the Pac-12 championships.

Following the Pac-12 championships are the NCAA Regionals, which begin May 15 in Eugene, Ore., with the finals beginning May 23 in Hutchinson, Kan.

The Sun Devils have played strong all season, finishing in the top 10 in all but one of their tournaments on the year. Their strong play was capped off with a dominating performance at their home course, and the Sun Devils are playing like a team that is ready for the postseason.

Reach the reporter at hkossodo@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @HKossodo