No. 2 ASU women’s golf finished the ANNIKA Intercollegiate ninth, with sophomore Linnea Strom being the lone standout for the Sun Devils fighting for the top spot throughout the three-round tournament.
"Saw some good things for sure," head coach Missy Farr-Kaye said. "But at the end of the day, it is a very disappointing tournament for us."
With freshman Olivia Mehaffey and Strom rejoining the team after the two competed in the world Amateur Championships during the teams first tournament, expectations were high coming into the three-day tournament at Reunion Watson Couse in Orlando, Florida.
The Sun Devils met those expectations after the first round as every member of the team shot even or below par, but over the final two rounds, only Strom shot under-par. In the final round, ASU still had a chance to move up the leader boards.
"The final round was a bit of a roller coaster," Farr-Kaye said. "We were actually playing really well in the final round. As by far the best round of the day going and had a pretty catastrophic finish. You expect that sometimes a little with younger players, but it was really bad and we lost a lot of spots unfortunately."
The ANNIKA Intercollegiate is known for its competitive field year after year, this years tournament highlighted all of the top-5 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and eight of the top-25.
"I think everyone felt really good in the first and second rounds, but the field was just really deep," Farr-Kaye said. "It would be unfair of me to be disappointed in our finish because of how incredibly strong this field was."
Going into her second year for the Maroon and Gold, Strom played some of the best golf of her career on the par 70 course with scores of 66, 70 and 73 in the first three rounds, consecutively.
"Linnea’s a really good player," Farr-Kaye said. "There is a tremendous amount of ability in her. I think she is going to be a stud player. Her ball striking was very good this week which enabled low scores. She started to press today I think on the back side."
Strom's top-10 individual finish comes on the heels of Monica Vaughn's performance to open the season, tying for third at UNM's Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational two weeks ago.
The ANNIKA Intercollegiate is put on by former Arizona State golfer and current PGA Pro Anna Nordqvist. ASU did not play in the event last year, but when they do she always makes time for dinner.
"We enjoyed having dinner with Anna Nordqvist last night," Farr Kaye said. "She is such a lovely person and I am so glad this team had the opportunity to spend time with her."
"There are some definite things to address," Farr-Kaye said. "There were plenty of good signs ahead, too, and I think we're going to be much better next tournament."
The Sun Devils don’t have to much time to reflect on their performance at the ANNIKA. They will be back in action Oct. 14-16 in Palo Alto, California for the for the Stanford Invitational.