ARIZONA STATE

Arizona State junior Ballester takes European Amateur, wins spot in Open

Jul 3, 2023, 2:14 PM | Updated: 2:37 pm

Arizona State junior Josele Ballester won the European Amateur Championship to earn a spot in The O...

Arizona State junior Josele Ballester won the European Amateur Championship to earn a spot in The Open at Royal Liverpool in July. (Photo courtesy of European Golf Association web site)

(Photo courtesy of European Golf Association web site)

An Arizona State golfer is making waves on the courses of Europe and will find himself in the field of the 151st Open Championship in July.

Josele Ballester carded a first-round, 10-under 62 at PƤrnu Bay Golf Links in Reiu, Estonia, to pace his way to a wire-to-wire victory at the European Amateur Championship.

The Sun Devil, who has twice been an honorable mention All American, opened Sunday’s final round with an eagle to open a four-shot lead over the competition, which included ASU teammate Michael Mjaaseth of Norway. Despite windy conditions, he secured a two-stroke victory, finishing at 21-under 267 (62-66-66-73).

The victory earned the 19-year-old Spaniard a spot in the field at Royal Liverpool starting July 20. Cameron Smith is the reigning Open Championship champion. Rory McIlroy shot 17-under, winning by two strokes last time the Open was at Royal Liverpool in 2014.

Not the only Sun Devil in the field

Ballester wasn’t the only ASU golfer to find success in Estonia.

Mjaaseth finished at 15-under, shooting 273 (63-66-67-77). The incoming-sophomore Norwegian posted an Sun Devil freshmen best stroke average 70.72 and ranked fifth on Golfstat.

Climbing the World Amateur Golf Rankings

Ballester was the standout of the long weekend in Northern Europe, but he’s not the highest-ranking Sun Devil in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. As of June 28, Arizona State has six duffers in the Top 100 rankings.

17. Preston Summerhays, Jr.

21. Wenyi Ding, Fr.

27. Ballester, Jr.

42. Mjaaseth, So.

66. Luke Potter, So.

94. Ryggs Johnston, Sr.

 

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