The ASU women’s golf team recorded its third straight top-five finish on Sunday finishing in a tie for second place at the PING/ASU Invitational in Tempe.
The Sun Devils finished with a 4-over 868 over the three rounds at Karsten Golf Course, tying with Baylor and finishing seven strokes behind the first place Arizona Wildcats.
ASU finished ahead of every other Pac-12 school in the event, a good sign heading into the conference tournament.
“It’s great to have a solid performance going into conference,” said associate head coach Missy Farr-Kaye. “It’s great for the team’s confidence. They feel good about how they’re playing and they played well under pressure.”
The team has scheduled the PING/ASU Invitational at this time of the year for a number of years for a reason; it gives them the chance to perform well on their home course before heading to the Pac-12 Championships.
“It’s worked really well for us, to play at home and then you go right into the postseason,” Farr-Kaye said.
Leading the team this weekend was sophomore Monica Vaughn who scored her first ever tournament win, sharing the crown with Texas’ Bertine Strauss. Vaughn was even on the final day but shot a 6-under 210 over three rounds, her best score of the season. Vaughn went into the final day with the lead but didn’t let the pressure get to her.
“I was really nervous to start the day, I had nerves but I really stuck to my own and was able to get through it and I just played smart all day,” Vaughn said. “I think that’s what helped me to get this win.”
Farr-Kaye spoke about how impressed she was with how calm Vaughn was, especially going into her last hole.
“What I said to her on the last hole was ‘I’m so proud of your composure today’ she held her composure that’s the biggest difference between this year and last year,” she said. “She’s handling herself so well on the golf course.”
Vaughn finished her round well before Strauss, who was in the final group, did. So she had to wait to celebrate her win to make sure she wasn’t passed for first place or wait to see if a playoff was necessary.
“I was nervous but coach came up to me and told me that if we tied there would be no playoff so we’d be co-champions and that kind of calmed my nerves a little bit,” she said.
As this is the only home event of the season, it means it was the last time that seniors Noemi Jimenez and Emilie Alonso would be playing Karsten as Sun Devils. Farr-Kaye says it’s always hard to see her players leave.
“They’ve brought so much to our program and not just on the golf course and not just by what they shoot, but what they brought to our program and to our team with their leadership. They will be greatly missed,” she said.
In their final rounds at Karsten, Jimenez finished with a 3-over 219 and Alonso finished with a 19-over 235.