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College Golf

This freshman just broke an all-time college golf scoring record in only his second career start

February 11, 2024

In the last two weeks we’ve seen #59Watches on the PGA Tour, LIV Golf circuit and Korn Ferry Tour, with a 57(!) posted in the KFT event Thursday in Colombia. But low scores haven’t been limited to just the men’s pro ranks. In college golf, a highly touted freshman just broke the 54-hole scoring record at one of the most decorated programs in the country—and is believed to have claimed the NCAA record in the process.

Wenyi Ding, the 2022 U.S. Junior Amateur champion from China, enrolled in January at Arizona State. In his first career start last month at the National Invitational Tournament in Tucson, he shot a 17-under 199, the fourth-best 54-hole score by a Sun Devil since 1993-94, en route to a second-place showing.

Then in his second start at ASU this past weekend at the Amer Ari Invitational in Hawaii, Ding topped that shooting a 27-under 189, breaking the school’s previous 54-hole record (21-under 192) set by Jon Rahm at the 2014 ASU Thunderbird Invitational. While the NCAA doesn’t have an official record book for regular season scoring, it is believed that Ding’s 189 is the lowest posted in a 54-hole event.

Ding, of course, claimed medalist honors at Mauna Lani’s North Course, besting a field that had six of the top nine players in the men’s college ranking. He made just one bogey on the week, while recording 26 birdies and an eagle to best Washington’s Finn Koelle and San Jose State’s Carl Corpus by nine shots.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, Arizona State also set a team 54-hole scoring record (801), although the Sun Devils lost the team title by five shots to top-ranked North Carolina.

In his six college rounds, Ding, No. 13 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, has shot no score worse than 67. Suffice it to say, the Sun Devils, ranked fourth in the most recent college coaches poll, have reason for optimism this spring.