Men's countdown: No. 20 Arizona State
We are counting down the top 30 men's teams heading into the fall college season.
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20. Arizona State
2012-13 Golfweek ranking: 37
Go-to guy: Sophomore Jon Rahm
Season outlook: It looks like head coach Tim Mickelson's rebuilding plan is going according to schedule. In Mickelson's first season, the Sun Devils finished at No. 80 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings and failed to earn a bid to NCAA regionals. Last season, Arizona State got better as the season went along, turning heads by qualifying for match play at the NCAA Championship before falling to top-ranked California in the quarterfinals.
This season might be even better. The Devils bring back their top seven players from a season ago, including sophomore Jon Rahm, who shot a first-round 61 and tied for second at the NCAA Championship, notched two victories and was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. His 71.37 scoring average as a freshman was best in school history for a first-year player.
Also back are Max Rotluff, who posted six top 10s, and fellow sophomores Alberto Sanchez and Trey Ka’ahanui; juniors Austin Quick, Mathias Schjoelberg and Brandon Cloete; and senior Spencer Lawson. Add in freshmen Nicolo Galletti and Ki Taek Lee, both of whom have proved themselves on the national stage as junior golfers, and Mickelson has a lot of firepower.
Mickelson’s goals for the fall: Be ranked in the top 10 and win twice. And after last year’s NCAA finals performance, his goals for the spring likely will be even higher.