With two of its top three golfers unavailable, the No. 10 Arizona State women’s golf team was left to lean on one player in its first tournament of the season.
She ended up doing it all.
While Monica Strom and Olivia Mehaffey are in Mexico competing for their countries in the International Golf Association's World Amateur Team Championships, the rest of their teammates traveled to Albuquerque and finished second at the Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational. Led by Monica Vaughn, who finished with the second lowest round of her career, the Sun Devils finished with a three round tally of 853 (-11).
"I am very proud of the fight in this team and our second place finish to start our year in a strong field," said head coach Missy Farr-Kaye. "We played the last three holes at two under par to solidify second place. I’m so happy to see Monica start her senior season so well and look forward to what this team can accomplish."
Farr-Kaye said that Strom and Mehaffey had been in communication with the rest of their teammates after arriving in Mexico on Monday. The pair begin play at the Team Championships on Wednesday and will be back with Arizona State by the weekend.
"Linnea and Olivia have been very supportive from Mexico and we are excited for their tournament to start,” Farr-Kaye said. “They will both be in the lineup for our next event, the Annika Collegiate."
Over in Albuquerque, Vaughn's second round was the third-lowest among individual golfers in the tournament, posting birdies on seven of the 18 holes. Sophia Zeeb finished just outside the top-10 (T-11th), tying her career low rounds in both rounds two and three (70).
In a fight to the finish that came down to the final holes, the Sun Devils finished just ahead of Baylor (-10) and a Northwestern (-9) team that was ranked No. 8 in the preseason by Golfweek.
Oklahoma State (Golfweek's preseason No. 9 team) was able to hold onto the lead on day two, finishing at -20, nine strokes lower than the maroon and gold.
The second round of play was suspended because of inclement weather, which led to an overall wet and rainy week of play. Despite the challenges, Farr-Kaye said Arizona State handled the stoppages just fine.
"I feel we handled the weather delays well," said Farr-Kaye. "We just did not make as many putts the in the last round as the first two."
The Sun Devils have just over two weeks of preparation before their next competition, the Annika Intercollegiate in Orlando. The tournament will be held September 25-27.