Every golfer of the Sun Devil Men’s Golf team has been playing in amateur tournaments since the season ended in May, including Preston Summerhays and Sun Devil signee Wenyi Ding, whose last appearances were at the U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club last month. But, Josele Ballester is the latest Sun Devil to capture a victory during the off season.
The two-time honorable mention All-American put together a strong 10-under 62 opening round of the European Amateur Championship in Estonia and maintained his presence through the end. Ballester’s victory at the European Amateur earned him an invitation to the 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool July 20-23.
Windy and less-than-ideal conditions prevented the Spaniard from stretching his lead beyond four, but he was able to navigate the field and secure his win by two strokes. Ballester carded a 21-under, 267 (62-66-66-73).
Ballester averaged 70.56 strokes in 2022-23 through 13 tournaments (39 rounds) while also aiding in the Devil’s third straight NCAA Championship appearance while hosted at GrayHawk Golf Club in Scottsdale. He also posted three top-10 finishes in his final five tournaments, and in his three tournaments prior to the NCAA Championships, Ballester carded 64 in each of the respective first rounds.
Ballester is the first Spaniard to capture the EGC gold since Sergio Garcia in 1995.
With Ballester’s latest victory in Estonia, he now sits at No. 22 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings — just six spots behind teammate Preston Summerhays at 16 and one spot ahead of Wenyi Ding at 23.