ASU men's golf earns first place at Maui Jim Intercollegiate

Inspiring efforts by all five members of the group helped notch a win for the Sun Devils

The ASU men’s golf team started off their 2019-20 season with a bang this weekend, taking home the first place trophy at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate tournament in Scottsdale.

The Sun Devils ended the weekend with a final score of -38 (802), finishing seven strokes ahead of second place UA in the effort.

“I was extra proud of them (the team) this week,” said head coach Matt Thurmond. “The win is cool, but it’s the way we did it … we were humble the whole time, we were hungry, very emotionally mature — it was just a good all-around week.”

The team placed second in stroke average on par 3, par 4 holes, notching averages of 2.92 and 3.93 respectively. The team tied for first with a 4.43 average on par 5 holes. 

ASU also tied with Clemson for second in total pars with 178 and third in birdies with 63. Additionally, the team scored two eagles on the weekend, tying them for second with Florida State, LSU and Utah in tournament totals.

“From what we saw with the guys — the poise that they had, the way that they fought to the end, and really (keeping) the pedal down making birdies late — that was what we, as coaches, got most encouraged about,” said associate head coach Armen Kirakossian.

Reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Cameron Sisk had one of the best performances of his collegiate career, finishing atop the player leaderboard with a final score of -14 (196). He also placed in the top three for stroke average on both par 3 and par 4 holes with totals of 2.75 (-3) and 3.78 (-8).

“I let everything play out for itself,” Sisk said. “I played a lot of stress-free golf, I didn’t have a lot of tough par putts that I had to grind over. I would either tap in for par or make a birdie … it was really fun.”

The sophomore notched a total of 18 birdies on the weekend, which tied him for second among all golfers in the tournament. His teammate, senior Chun (Kevin) An Yu, scored 17 birdies of his own as the duo placed an exclamation point on the team’s overall performance.

The whole Sun Devil team played well throughout the weekend. Junior Won Jun Lee was tied for first in par 3 stroke average among all golfers with a sizzling 2.67 (-4) average. Sophomore James Leow and junior Mason Andersen both contributed eagles to the effort, emphasizing the team's persistence and depth. 

“It was a really good tournament for our team,” Andersen said. “It does a lot for our confidence. It reinforces the fact that we’re a good team and we work well together.”

While this win is obviously an important and proud moment, coaches and players alike have their eyes set on the biggest prize and emphasize that there is still a lot to be done to earn a national championship.

“Next time we’re in contention to win, I think we’ll be even better prepared than we were this time because we know what it takes,” Thurmond said. “We’re doing the right stuff. Let’s just keep at it and keep getting better at it.”

Kirakossian added that “it’s a long process to the NCAA’s and each week is part of getting better for when it really matters at the end of the season."

The Sun Devils’ next tournament will begin Sept. 22 when they head to Dallas to compete in the Trinity Forest Invitational. The tournament will feature both a team segment and an individual segment, so there may be a slight lineup change for the Sun Devils.


Reach the reporter at hcroton@asu.edu or follow @thecrote on Twitter. 

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