Monday, December 26, 2011


Germany's Max Rottluff signs up for four years at Arizona State University

Max Rottluff, winner by 10 strokes of the 2010 Golfdatalab Scottish Youths Championship at Monifieth, has been signed up by Arizona State University's first-year head golf coach Tim Mickelson - brother of Phil - to join the Sun Devils' roster in August next year.
Rottluff, 18, from Dusseldorf, shot a five-under-par total of 279 at Monifieth -  which was pretty good going, considering (a) He had only once played on a links course previously, and (b) He began the 72-hole tournament with a 76 - to win from joint runners-up on 289, Simon Fairbairn (Torwoodlee) and Paul McPhee (King James VI) in the Under-21s' open amateur championship last year.
The German teenager, who says compatriot Martin Kaymer is his golfing idol, was also beaten finalist in the 2010 British boys amateur championship at Kilmarnock Barassie. Rottluff lost by 5 and 4 in the 36-hole final to Spain's Adrian Otaegui who won his European Tour card for 2012 at the recent Final Tour School at PGA Catalunya.
Rottluff says his ambition after spending four years at Arizona State is to become a tour professional and follow in the footsteps of Kaymer.
Walker Cup player and rookie pro James Byrne from Banchory spent four happy years at Arizona State University until he graduated last May.
Coach Mickelson has also signed a local junior star, Alberto Sanchez from nearby Nogales, Arizona.
Rottluff also won last year's Junior Orange Bowl International boys' title, held around this time of the year in Florida.
"Both Max and Alberto bring a lot of tournament experience to our program, and both have been competing at a high level since they were young," said Mickelson, a four-time West Coast Conference Coach of the Year while at the University of San Diego.
Rottluff and Sanchez will look to make a mark as freshmen next autumn, and there is a map to greatness for a Sun Devil freshman. Eight times a freshman has been crowned the NCAA men's golf champion.
Arizona State is the only university to have had not one but two such winners - Phil Mickelson in 1989 and Alejandro Canizares in 2003.
Rottluff earned his 2010 Junior Orange Bowl title in sudden death play-off, defeating USA's Curtis Thompson, winner last week of the Dixie Amateur Championship and brother of Lexi Thompson, at 16 the youngest pro winner on both the Ladies European Tour and also the LPGA Tour.
"Max really doesn't have a weakness, he is strong in every facet of his game," says Mickelson, a four-time West Coast Conference Coach of the Year before while at the University of San Diego.
"He is a very dedicated and driven student-athlete who has competed at a high-level in junior golf. We are excited to have him as part of our future plans."
Sanchez, originally from Nogales, Arizona, is a student at La Jolla Country Day in La Jolla, California. He tied for second at the 2009 Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Classic in Texas, and at the 2008 Stockton Sports Commission Junior Classic. He tied for fifth at the 2010 Heather Farr Classic and tied for seventh in 2009.
"Alberto is really good with the short game and exceptional with the wedge. I have been wanting to recruit him for a long time and we expect him to be ready to play as soon as he steps on campus next year. He simply needs to get stronger off the tee and that will happen with our strength and conditioning staff and the use of our facilities."