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Arizona mens golf set to play ASU in Thunderbird Invitational

Arizona men’s golf team will take an interstate road trip for two days to play at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational in Tempe.

The No. 6 ranked Sun Devils are on track for an above average season, and beating the Wildcats on their turf would be the ideal cherry on top.

Competing with ASU is always competitive, regardless of records, and the Wildcats are desperate for a shift of momentum.

Arizona is coming off one of its worst performances of the season, finishing in 23rd place at The Goodwin in Stanford, Calif. The Wildcats were left empty handed in the Bay Area and sat at rock bottom despite finishing in seventh in San Diego earlier in the month.  

Arizona coach Jim Anderson shook up the Wildcats’ usual order in San Diego by placing four freshmen and one senior in the lineup. The Wildcats would go on to play mediocre golf by carding an overall team score of 888 strokes (+24).

The Wildcats would then transition into a more experienced lineup for The Goodwin with only two freshmen in the lineup, including George Cunningham and Peter Koo. Anderson will test the freshmen once again for ASU.

“We’re going back to our four freshmen, and I think this tournament will give them the experience we need for the future,” Anderson said. “Even though our lineup this week has a lot of youth, we’ve been highly competitive at our practice rounds, so our young guys are up for the challenge.”  

The Wildcats have been led by Cunningham all season, and Anderson said he looks to him to card a first place finish individually.

Cunningham will have his work cut out for him especially with junior Sun Devil Jon Rahm, who has yet to earn a win of the spring season. But the junior is looking to defend his title after winning the ASU Thunderbird Invitational last season by posting a score of 21-under with 192 strokes.

That score would go on set a new 54-hole final score record at ASU as well as the Thunderbird Invitational. Rham is an undisputed All-Conference player with his track record.

ASU on the other hand has won every tournament of the spring season except the Southern Highlands Collegiate in early March, when the Sun Devils finished tied for third.

ASU won the Arizona Intercollegiate, which was the spring season opener for both teams.

“We’re not worried about them too much, because we have our own game plan on playing the course, so we haven’t really gave them attention,” Anderson said. “We know they are pretty good, but that hasn’t been in the back of our minds, so we’re going to compete this weekend and just hope we get the shots that we want.”

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UA COVID-19 Test Tracker

Daily (9/25)
944 31 3.3%
Total (8/4)
35,583 2,255 6.3%
Includes tests since August 4, 2020
Data from https://covid19.arizona.edu/updates
Updated September 25, 2020