Welcome Back to ASU Karsten, Azahara!
Now in its 27th year, the Azahara Munoz Championship by Transamerica teed off this week with the former Sun Devil’s name in the title. It is her first time hosting an AJGA tournament, but she’s been surrounded by top-notch events all her life. She won the 2008 NCAA Women’s Golf Individual National Championship while playing for ASU, and went on to notch one victory on the LPGA Tour and four on the Ladies European tour, so far, after turning pro in 2010.
History of Greatness
Munoz is not the only big name associated with the tournament. Two-time NCAA Women’s Golf Individual National Champion Grace Park won it twice – ’94 and ’96 – along with other locals such as Blair O’Neil ‘97, Lindsey Weaver ’12 and Abigail Cantwell ’15.
On the men’s side, Tiger Woods won the inaugural event in ’91 and successfully defended his title the next year. A couple other notable Californians also followed suit: Charley Hoffman in ’94, Kevin Na in ’00, and Anthony Kim in ’01. Arizona boys are conspicuously absent until Tim McKenney from Scottsdale won it in ’05.
The 54-hole, stroke-play competition runs June 6-8 at ASU Karsten Golf Course with 48 boys and 24 girls, ages 12-19 from Mexico, Canada, Philippines, China and eight different states ready to play. Tee times kick off each morning from 6:30 to 8:20am, and the awards presentation will happen at 1pm on Thursday, June 8.
Eighteen of the juniors in the field have already committed to play college golf including Davis Evans of Phoenix who opted to stay close to home and become a Sun Devil. In total, 33 local players are in the field (see table below for complete listing).
Of them, Ashely Menne of Surprise has one of the more compelling chances to win. On the big stage, she won the Golfweek West Coast Junior Invitational a few weeks ago as well as earning Honorable Mention for the 2016 Rolex Junior All-American Team. And locally, she has been dominating the Junior Golf Association of Arizona (JGAA) tournament schedule for the last two years. So far in 2017, she won six of the nine JGAA events she entered. And in 2016, Menne managed to notch 12 victories in 22 tournaments played.
|Alejandro De Zavala||Chandler||2019|
|Andrew Ellingsen||Paradise Valley||2017|
|Mike Finnegan||San Tan Valley||2017|
|Isaac Spillum||Paradise Valley||2017|
|Jackson Vickers||Cave Creek||2019|
|Toni St John||Gilbert||2020|