Missy Farr-Kaye didn’t sugarcoat it. There’s nothing easy about watching other teams compete this fall, especially at this week’s East Lake Cup, a televised event that her Arizona State team was scheduled to take part in.
That was before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, not only putting an abrupt end to last spring’s momentum but canceling fall competition for the Pac-12 as well.
“I’m glad they get to play and that’s awesome,” said Farr-Kaye, “but it’s a little bit of a kick in the teeth.”
Farr-Kaye has turned her attention to the spring, where she’s hosting an unprecedented three tournaments on top of the NCAA Championship at Grayhawk next May.
When Ohio State’s Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge was canceled, Farr-Kaye called the general manager at Talking Stick and asked if there was room in the schedule for Pac-12 teams to come there and compete. Thus, the Sun Devil Winter Classic was born. The event will take place Feb. 15-17.
Last week Notre Dame administration decided the Irish couldn’t host the annual Clover Cup at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona. Farr-Kaye picked up the phone and got that one back on the schedule too. ASU will host the Longbow Invitational from March 12-14.
Later in the month ASU’s longstanding home tournament, the Ping/ASU Invitational at Papago Golf Course will take place from March 26-28.
It’s not about bells and whistles, said Farr-Kaye. It’s about finding a good course that’s set up well and safe for players with hotel rates that fit shrinking budgets.
“We’re just trying to find ways to compete to be eligible for postseason,” said Farr-Kaye.
With several conferences competing this fall, including the Big 12 and SEC, there are obvious inequities at play when it comes to 2021.
It’s possible that some schools might not be able to compete outside of their conference next spring in the regular season. How will that impact postseason selections? How will the rankings work?
The number of required competition rounds to be eligible for postseason is typically 15. Surely the NCAA will reduce that number, but by how much?
So far, there are more questions than answers looking ahead to next spring.
What’s certain is that Farr-Kaye and assistant coach Michelle Estill will have exceptionally full plates.