ASU’s Sweeney to go pro; 2 Devils left
Lance and Asher discuss how Arizona State plans to proceed this season with just two players.
A month after All-American Jennifer Johnson left the Arizona State women’s program to turn professional, another Sun Devil is joining her.
Jaclyn Sweeney will forgo her final year of eligibility to pursue a career in professional golf. Sweeney, who finished her junior season as a third-team Golfweek All-American, will turn pro after the U.S. Women’s Amateur next week.
The move leaves ASU with two players from a squad that featured 10 just seven months ago.
“I have spoken with my teammates and coaches and it has been an honor and privilege to represent ASU from January 2009 up until this past semester,” Sweeney said in a statement. “Moreover, I am thankful for the kindness and support (of) the team and coaches. I wish nothing but the best for my ASU family!”
Sweeney, 21, of Andover, Mass., had started her college career at Oklahoma State before transferring to Tempe. She was a member of Arizona State’s 2009 NCAA championship team. During her time at ASU, she recorded 10 top 20s and won the Topy Cup in Japan. She capped her college career ranked No. 23 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.
Head coach Melissa Luellen was unavailable for comment, according to a university spokeswoman, who added that Luellen was to go on an international recruiting trip after a vacation. The school, however, released a statement from Luellen.
“Jackie is a talented and driven young lady who is following her dream to play professional golf,” Luellen said. “Although the timing is not great for our team, the time is right for Jackie. We are looking forward to the addition of many new faces in January. Therefore, the majority of our tournament schedule will be played in the spring season.”
Juniors Carlota Ciganda and Giulia Molinaro are the two remaining players on ASU’s 2010-11 squad. Ciganda has won back-to-back Pac-10 Championships and was a first-team Golfweek All-American the past two seasons. Molinaro was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection last year after recording two top-10 finishes and a 75.1 stroke average.
Arizona State has won 20 tournament titles in the past eight years under Luellen, including the 2009 NCAA Championship. The Sun Devils finished fourth at the 2010 national championship.
Arizona State is holding a walk-on qualifier on Aug. 24 at the ASU Karsten Golf Course. The event is limited to students enrolled at ASU.