ASU women’s golf finishes in three-way tie for second at PING/ASU Invitational

ASU women’s golf shot under par on every day of its final tournament of the regular season, but it was not enough to win on its home course.

South Carolina (11-under 853) finished in first place, helped by a second round score of 280 which was the lowest single-round score of the entire tournament.

ASU (5-under 859) was led by a brilliant third-round performance by junior Noemi Jimenez, who shot 6-under on the final day which brought her score to a 7-under 209 for the tournament.

 

 

Jimenez’s 209 was the second best individual score of the weekend, trailing only Duke sophomore Celine Boutier by one stroke.

Other Sun Devil finishes include seniors Daniela Ordonez (1-over 217) and Justine Lee (2-over 218), freshman Monica Vaughn (3-over 219) and junior Emilie Alonso (7-over 223).

The Sun Devils were primed to take sole possession of second place, but the final two holes on the day were problematic for coach Melissa Luellen’s squad. Two players bogeyed on hole 17, and all but one bogeyed the last hole.

Luellen was pleased with her team’s play despite the struggle at the end.

“A little bit of a weak finish, a couple bogeys on the last couple holes, but we still tied for second in a great field,” Luellen said. “I think they competed really well.”

The biggest takeaway Sun Devil fans can get from this tournament is that ASU played consistently. They were the only team to shoot under par on every round, following up two 1-under rounds with a 3-under on Sunday.

“That’s something we certainly strive to do, it’s very satisfying knowing we left it all out there,” Luellen said. “It’s almost like a confidence booster that we were right there, I’m really proud of how we fought.”

Up next for ASU is the Pac-12 Women’s Golf Championships in Corvallis, Ore. ASU played against many of their Pac-12 foes at Karsten Golf Course this weekend, but Luellen said that does not necessarily give ASU a scouting advantage.

“You go to a different golf course with different characteristics, and some courses suit other teams and players better than others,” Luellen said. “It’s been about 12 years since I’ve been to Trysting Tree, but it’s a good ball striking course, and I think we’re a good ball striking team.”

ASU enters the postseason without a regular season victory, despite three second place finishes and two third place finishes. Luellen is still optimistic about her team’s title chances.

“I think they know if that they put it all together, then we can certainly win any golf tournament,” Luellen said. “Even though we haven’t won yet, I think they’re starting to believe that they can win.”

The Pac-12 Women’s Golf Championships will be played from April 25 through April 27.

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