Matt Thurmond’s squad surged past Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to finish as the only team under par at Grayhawk Golf Club.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona State men’s golf team just needed to make match play, that means finishing in the top eight after 72 holes of the NCAA championship. But the Sun Devils weren’t content to just do that.
Coach Matt Thurmond’s squad surged past Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to finish atop the leaderboard after the stroke-play portion Monday at Grayhawk Golf Club. Now it is on to the match-play quarterfinals on Tuesday with ASU to face No. 8 North Carolina, beginning at 10:20 a.m. ET.
Other matches will feature No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 5 Illinois, No. 2 Oklahoma State vs. No. 7 Vanderbilt and No. 3 Pepperdine vs. No. 6 Florida State.
Thurmond knows his team now has to focus on the next task.
“It feels great to be heading into match play.” Thurmond said. “People that say just getting to match play is everything probably didn’t finish first. It’s nice. It’s pretty cool to have beaten everybody for four days. It was hard but we had to earn every bit of it. It’s a good feeling but again, in about an hour it doesn’t matter because we’re going to play somebody who’s excited about taking down the No. 1 seed. And we don’t get a head start tomorrow.”
The Sun Devils started the day in third place, 14 strokes behind Oklahoma State and one behind Oklahoma. But ASU managed a team total of 5-under 275, the second-best score of the day behind the sizzling 9-under 271 from Pepperdine which leaped up six places into third.
Oklahoma State imploded to a 12-over 292 for a four-round total of 1,120 while Oklahoma, the top-ranked team in the country coming in, was 9-over 289 for a 1,130.
ASU boasted balance throughout its lineup with senior Chun An Yu posting a team-best 3-under 67 that came despite a bogey on No. 18 where he went from a bunker to the water. Yu was the fourth different Sun Devil to chalk up the low score of the day this week.
“Today I felt really good. This course plays tough so I was just trying to play smart, not trying to do anything too special. Just one shot at a time. I thought I did a good job today just hitting fairways and greens,” he said.
Three ASU players finished in the top 15, led by sophomore Ryggs Johnston who was third at 5-under 275, just two strokes behind medalist Turk Pettit of Clemson and one behind runner-up Bo Jin of Oklahoma State. Johnston, who had a 7-under 63 in the second round on Saturday, went into 18 one stroke off the lead but his tee shot bounced off the cart path and into a cart. He ended up with a bogey but still managed a 1-under 69 for the day.
“I’m pretty proud of the way I handled myself today and the whole tournament,” Johnston said. “There were a lot of nerves out there throughout the whole thing. I thought I did really well taking care of that and played some really good golf this week.”
Cameron Sisk was also 1-under for the day, putting up a 72-hole total of 279 which tied him for eighth. He was the model of consistency with 17 pars and one birdie. Mason Andersen rounded out the scoring with an even par 70.
The Sun Devils were so good that the score not counting was a still respectable 2-over 72 from David Puig.
“A lot of teams would have loved to have had that score,” Thurmond said.
There were two holes-in-one in the fourth round, the first coming from Oklahoma’s Logan McAllister on the par 3, 205-yard No. 5 hole and the second coming from Tyson Reeder of Arkansas on the par 3, 188-yard No. 8 hole. That made three for the week with San Francisco’s Soren Lind acing the No. 5 hole in the first round.
Top eight finishers at NCAAs
1. Arizona State -3
2. Oklahoma State E
3. Pepperdine +5
4. Oklahoma +10
5. Illinois +14
6. Florida State +16
7. Vanderbilt +24
8. North Carolina +25
Match play matchups
1. Arizona State vs. 8. North Carolina
7:10 a.m., 1st tee
2. Oklahoma State vs. 7. Vanderbilt
6:20 a.m., 1st tee
3. Pepperdine vs. 6. Florida State
6:20 a.m., 10th tee
4. Oklahoma vs. 5. Illinois
7:10 a.m., 10th tee
1. Turk Pettit, Clemson -7
2. Bo Jin, Oklahoma State -6
3. Ryggs Johnston, Arizona State -5
4. Michael Feagles, Illinois -4
5. John Pak, Florida State -3
How ASU did
3. Ryggs Johnston, -5
T-8. Cameron Sisk, -1
T-13. Chun An Yu, +2
T-23. Mason Andersen, +4
T-54. David Puig, +12