Already ranked No. 20 in the country, the Sun Devil women's golf team was one of the best teams coming into 2022. Now, with the addition of a familiar name, the team may have what it needs to reach the top.
Grace Summerhays arrived at ASU in January and has been competing ever since. Grace Summerhays' father, Boyd Summerhays, competed professionally for about 11 years. He has taught players on the PGA Tour, including her brother Preston Summerhays, a standout on the ASU men's golf team.
Preston Summerhays has competed in numerous amateur events across the country, being named U.S. Junior Amateur Champion in 2019.
"I was born into a golf family, basically everyone in my family plays golf," Grace Summerhays said. "I started taking lessons with my dad and that made me want to pursue it as a career."
Grace Summerhays began playing golf at a very young age, and with the help of her father and brother, quickly fell in love with the game.
"Seeing my brother and father out on the course made me want to be around them," Grace Summerhays said. "I'm a very family-oriented person, and being around them helped me learn pretty quick and make it fun."
Grace Summerhays completed high school online so she could practice without school being a conflict, in result, she graduated a semester early. She signed on to join the ASU women’s golf team in January, and her choice to come to ASU was a "no-brainer."
"When you have a great program right in your backyard, it made the choice obvious for me," Grace Summerhays said. "Once my brother committed to ASU, I was pretty sure I was going to come here."
About a year ago, Sun Devil head coach Missy Farr-Kaye informed Grace Summerhays that Linn Grant was probably going to leave for the LPGA Tour, leaving an open spot on the roster for Grace Summerhays to fill.
"The more I thought about it, the more I was ready for college golf," Grace Summerhays said. "I was ready for the next step … ready for new competition and new courses."
Although Grace has only been with the team for a few weeks, she has already made her presence felt with her teammates.
"I would definitely say she’s made an impact thus far," teammate and friend sophomore Ashley Menne said. "Practice has been a lot of fun and I think everyone is getting along really well."
ASU women's golf recently competed in the Match in the Desert, finishing 18 strokes under par and taking down six other groups, including beating No. 2 Oklahoma State by five strokes. Grace Summerhays finished four strokes under par, good for fourth overall in the tournament.
"This team has really good energy to it," Farr-Kaye said. "It's hard for me to imagine this team without Grace, she's really bringing out the spark of energy that this team needed."
From here, Grace Summerhays will look to improve and maintain her current pace in upcoming events to help her team reach the top, as well as continue her family legacy throughout ASU and eventually the LPGA tour.
"We need to keep doing what we're doing," Grace Summerhays said. "I'm blessed to be given these opportunities presented to me because of my family name and I’m really excited to see what’s next."
Aaron Schmidt is a sports reporter who covers ASU Baseball and ASU Women’s Golf for The State Press. He previously covered Higley High School football for AZPreps365.