No. 4 ASU women's golf starts season with win at the Match in the Desert

Linn Grant and Alexandra Forsterling each finished one stroke under par in the Sun Devils' win

At the Match in the Desert, No. 4 ASU women's golf dominated against Denver, No. 7 UCLA and No. 8 UA at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club in Gold Canyon.

ASU ended one stroke over par while no other teams came within 14 strokes. UCLA finished at 15 over par and Denver wrapped finished at 18 over par. UA only fielded three golfers who competed as individuals and were not scored for the team leaderboard.  

All five of ASU's golfers finished within the top seven of the individual leaderboard, with sophomore Linn Grant and junior Alexandra Forsterling, each finishing at one stroke under par.

The Sun Devils jumped to an early lead on day one with a -10 score, five strokes ahead of the second-place Bruins. The Sun Devils powered through rain and sleet on the second day, finishing the round with a nine-stroke advantage.

In a Jan. 22 Zoom teleconference, ASU head coach Missy Farr-Kaye mentioned the importance of Grant coming off a freshman year, which allowed her to become Golf Channel's Pac-12 Preseason Golfer of the Year, alongside fifth-year senior Olivia Mehaffey, to the team's success.

"The number two player in the world right now (is) Linn Grant," Farr-Kaye said. "She wants to win every tournament, just like Olivia (Mehaffey). They're a serious one-two punch."

Junior Alessandra Fanali, Mehaffey and sophomore Amanda Linner finished fifth, sixth and tied for seventh, respectively, on the individual leaderboard. 

Farr-Kaye noted the chance of poor weather before the tournament, but was confident in her team's ability to play through it.

"The weather forecast is not looking too good for us," Farr-Kaye said. "It's not going to be normal. It's not going to be 75 (degrees) and sunny, it's going to be cold and rainy. That's a resiliency, mental toughness thing."

The Sun Devils proved her right by winning both days of the tournament by wide margins.

ASU will have the next 20 days to dry off before starting the Sun Devil Winter Classic on Feb. 15.

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