The Sun Devils scratched, fought, and clawed all afternoon against Oklahoma in their NCAA men’s golf championship on Tuesday. But in a championship setting, the team lost to the Sooners 3-2.
Chun An Yu, who took the torch from Jon Rahm and became the best player on the Sun Devil team and a top world amateur, took care of business in his match. A dominant 5&4 victory for the guy they call Kevin scored the first point of the match.
➡️— Sun Devil Men's Golf (@sundevilmgolf) June 1, 2021
Chun An Yu dominates his match 5⃣ & 4⃣, clinching the first semifinal win for the Sun Devils pic.twitter.com/pq9n78lEYg
Less than 30 minutes later, sophomore Ryggs Johnston, who had controlled his match throughout, secured the second point for the team with a 3&2 victory of his own. Out of the three matches remaining, the Sun Devils just needed one victory to advance to the finals.
They didn’t get it. Oklahoma’s Jonathan Brightwell towered over ASU sophomore David Puig, both in stature at six-foot-five, and throughout the match.
Puig battled to within one shot with a banana-slice tee shot at the drivable Par 4 17th hole, but could not grab the win he needed on 18 to end the match with a tie.
Senior Mason Andersen’s day unraveled with a double-chip on the 14th hole. That match ended with a 4&3 victory for Logan McAllister.
With the team score tied at 2-2, the golden ticket to Wednesday’s championship match rested on Arizona State’s Cameron Sisk, and Oklahoma’s Quade Cummins. Sisk drew just 1 Down with a clutch birdie from the fringe at 15 to make things interesting.
1️⃣⬇️— Sun Devil Men's Golf (@sundevilmgolf) June 2, 2021
NOT DONE YET❗️
Cameron Sisk pulls within one thanks to this massive birdie on 1️⃣5️⃣ pic.twitter.com/zWi9BLNrlb
But Cummins settled down, and scored a tie with Sisk on the 16th hole. Sisk then stepped up to the same tee shot his teammate had knocked it on with the driver just 15 minutes prior, but as questioned by the Golf Channel broadcast, took out an iron.
His tee shot was sub-optimal, nestling down in the rough. Then Cummins calmly cut a driver onto the front of the green. Two putts from there from Cummins ended the match, and sent Oklahoma to the finals to face Pepperdine.
The loss was disappointing for the Sun Devils, but the year overall featured several impressive individual performances across the board.
This team was certainly talented enough to hoist the hardware, but the swings they needed to bring simply weren’t there when they needed them.
But hey, still a good month for ASU golf, right? Two weeks ago, three Sun Devil alums finished in the top-10 in the PGA Championship.
At least one of them, now six-time major champion Phil Mickelson, was watching. In quintessential Phil fashion, he tweeted at the team to pick his boys up.