Arizona State men’s golf rallied with eight straight wins to clinch a 15-9 victory over Arizona in the second annual Copper Cup on Monday at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club.
Arizona entered Day 2 leading 7-5 after Sunday’s first day of action. Even with a two-point deficit, ASU coach Matt Thurmond was unimpressed with how day one ended.
“We felt like all of those key moments last night when the game was going, we struggled in those moments. Like, what’s going on? said Thurmond.
“We were pretty upset last night with how it ended and I woke up in the middle of the night and I was like, I said a few things that were a little too harsh and a little too aggressive. They’re doing their best and I kind of hit them pretty hard. I was worried, but they reacted well and they played really well from the start,” added Thurmond.
The two-day, Ryder Cup-style event kicked off a season that will conclude with the NCAA Championships (men’s and women’s) at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale.
ASU, ranked No. 3 by Golfweek, gained ground in the morning session foursome, taking three of four wins.
Arizona looked to extend its lead when senior Cal McCoy and second Sam Sommerhauser earned a 2&1 win in the foursomes opener over graduate student Mason Andersen and senior Cameron Sisk. However, freshman Preston Summerhays and junior Ryggs Johnston forced a turn in their 1-up win over Arizona junior Chaz Aurilia and grad student Christian Banke. The duo birdied the last two holes to clinch.
“Yesterday felt like a chore all day, most of the morning felt like a chore,” Thurmond said.
But when associate head coach Armen Kirakossian said that at some point something would work out soon, more wins followed for ASU.
“The energy at lunch was on our side,” Thurmond said.
Andersen led the first of five wins that clinched the title, birdieing the No. 14 to claim a 6&4 win. The positioning of the others allowed Gabe Salvanera and James Leow to seal the victory before the other groups were finished.
“Today was a lot tighter and more disciplined. If (Arizona) was going to win this tournament, they had to play really good golf. Fortunately, we were able to get the win,” Andersen said.
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