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ASU Men's Golf: Sun Devils optimistic after top-10 finish to conclude year

Senior Jared Du Toit and the Sun Devils both picked up top-10 finished this week to close out the season.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 22 Arizona State Sun Devils finished fourth in the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational in Hawaii on Tuesday, scoring 2-under in their last tournament of the fall season.

"The fall season is about setting a tone and getting to know the team you have," ASU head coach Matt Thurmond said. "It's a time to start building an identity. I think we made lots of progress and that the spring will be really good."

No. 25 Mississippi took home the hardware with a tournament victory, while un-ranked Sam Houston State slid into second, and No. 24 Missouri finished third as all three teams outdoing the higher-ranked Sun Devils.

"I don't really care what anyone is ranked," Thurmond said. "When we play to our potential we will always be in contention."

Senior Jared du Toit was in contention in all three rounds and wrapped up his strong fall tour with a tied-for-sixth place finish, shooting a 7-under par and notching two rounds below 70.

In his two-year career at ASU after transferring from the University of Idaho, du Toit captured his eighth top-10 finishfor the Maroon and Gold.

"Jared played very well as usual," Thurmond said. "He's so solid. I'd love to see him take that next step in his confidence and presence. I think we he will soon."

Du Toit had top-10 finishes in three of the four tournaments for ASU this fall, with one top-five finish when he tied for fourth at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational in early October.

The only other Sun Devil to land in the top 25 individually was freshman Alex Del Rey Gonzalez — tying for 22nd in the best performance of his college career. Del Rey Gonzalez tallied a 68 in round two, which gave him his second under-70 round this fall.

"Alex has played solidly," Thurmond said. "You'll see a lot of big things from him as he continues to gain experience."

For the rest of the ASU field, senior Ki Taek Lee tied for 33rd, freshman Blake Wagoner tied for 41st, junior Tobias Eden took 69th and freshman Anthony Truong tied for 70th.

ASU took six golfers for this event — the most its carried for a lineup this fall — in anticipation for the spring and to finish the shortened season with tough competition.

"Our last event was pretty weak as a team," Thurmond said. "I'd say our fall was okay."

The Sun Devils will have some time off before the bulk of their golf season picks back up following winter break.

Thurmond, the staff and the ASU golfers will begin the four-month grind of non-stop competition with their first scheduled tournament from Feb. 2-4 back in Hawaii for the Amer Ari Intercollegiate.

From now until ASU gets back to competitive form, the focus will be honing in on the true makeup of this talented group.

"We have so many new faces," Thurmond said. "We learned a lot and had some really high moments, but we are a very long way from where we expect to be."