ASU men's golf breaks records on its way to Thunderbird Invitational victory
Both individual and team records were set on Sunday as the ASU men's golf finished 35-under par with a total score of 817. Sophomore Jon Rahm (21-under 192) set both a tournament and new school record for a 54-hole final score.
The 817 scored by ASU is also the lowest score in the history of the Thunderbird Invitational.
Coach Tim Mickelson praised his entire team's effort over the three day tournament.
"Obviously Jon Rahm shooting 21-under helps a ton. But everyone else just played solid, and I think they played with comfort and ease knowing they didn't have to win the tournament to get into regionals," Mickelson said. "Anytime you can play in a comfortable situation you tend to play better."
Sophomore Max Rottluff finished the tournament 4-under par with a score of 209. Freshman Ki Taek Lee (3-under 210), juniors Broc Johnson (2-under 211) and Austin Quick (1-under 212) all finished in the top 17 of individual scores.
The dominating performance by ASU is also the first time it has finished in sole possession of first place since Mickelson was hired in 2011.
"It's always nice getting the first one out of the way," Mickelson said. "I'm hoping we have one or two more this year and at the very end of May. It's really nice having the first win be at our home event."
The two eagles driven in by Rahm, who is the all-time ASU leader in that category, during the tournament were his eighth and ninth of the season, which leads the nation.
Mickelson said Rahm's knack for getting eagles is of no surprise to him.
"The kid hits it far and he's got really good hands and he's a really good putter," Mickelson said. "That combination really helps on par-fives."
The home field advantage came at a crucial time for the Sun Devils, as the season closes in towards postseason play. Mickelson acknowledged his team had the upper hand during the Thunderbird, but that is not to say it has peaked.
"You will see as we get through the end of the year that our team is going to continue to get better as we get into April and May," Mickelson said. "We will definitely be ready to go as the postseason comes."
Five Sun Devils played as individuals, including Freshmen Blake Cannon (3-under 210), Nicolo Galletti (even 213), sophomore Trey Kaahanui (1-under 212),junior Mathias Schjoelberg (10-over 223) and Ben Shur (17-over 230).
Following 20 strokes behind ASU was second place University of Iowa with a score of 837, followed by the UA (5-under 847).
Reach the reporter at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @HKossodo