Arizona State men’s golf alumnus Nicolo Galletti said he didn’t have his best stuff on the final day of the 2022 Arizona Open.
Galletti, who turned professional after graduating from ASU in 2017, shot even par on Wednesday, but that was enough for him to claim the 2022 Arizona Open Championship victory with a 12-under-par three-day score of 198 at the Mesa Country Club , a par 70 course.
“It feels amazing, it feels really good to be able to pull this one off and finish off strong,” Galletti said. “I definitely didn’t have my best stuff today compared to the last couple days, it was playing a lot tougher today as well, but I was really happy with how I grinded myself for a lot of pars to at least keep myself with a little bit of lead.”
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Galletti shot 7-under-par on Monday and 5-under-par on Tuesday on the way to his victory.
Galletti ran into competition on the final four holes Wednesday, however, as Grant Booth made crucial birdie putts on holes 15 and 16. On both holes, Galletti had the chance to match Booth’s birdie putt but missed the hole by a few feet.
“It was a little frustrating,” Galletti said. “It was obviously a lot tougher to make birdies today, but I just wasn’t making any birdies as well, I wasn’t hitting it close enough to the hole. So, on 16 and 17 I gave myself two decent chances to putt for birdie, and those were big putts. If I would’ve made those, that would’ve been huge, to give myself a little room.”
Booth bogeyed the 17th hole and needed to make up two shots in the final stretch to tie Galletti and force a playoff.
Galletti made par on the 18th hole after hitting his second shot into a bunker near the green. Booth set up an eagle putt to potentially tie Galletti, but overshot the hole by a few feet and tapped in for a birdie — finishing the tournament at 11-under-par.
“It’s kind of a weird green,” Booth said of the 18th hole. “Because if they get hit low, they just dive. I thought I had the perfect line, perfect speed, and then it didn’t go in.”
Booth, who tied for second with 2019 Arizona Open victor Charlie Beljan, will receive $111,125 for his second-place finish.
“I’m obviously grateful to be out here doing what I’m doing this year and making a little bit of money along the way,” Booth said. “I’m sure it’ll probably feel a bit better when I see it hit the bank account than what it feels now.”
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Galletti will take home $24,000 for his first-place finish. After spending the winter on the Latinoamérica Tour, where his highest finish was a tie for fourth at the Argentine Open in December 2021, Galletti said he’s thankful for a victory purse.
“It’s huge, yeah, it’s big,” Galletti said of his winnings. “It’s going to be a big help. I definitely needed the money, I’ve been in a little bit of debt with pro golf, obviously, it’s a very expensive sport, and it’s very expensive to travel and stuff. Whenever you can win and make some money like that, it always helps.”
Galletti doesn’t plan to return to the Latinoamérica Tour, which ended its 2021-22 season in June. He is planning to attend Q School later this month, in hopes of making it onto the Korn Ferry Tour.
Gavin Aurilia finished first among amateurs and fifth place overall with an 8-under-par on Wednesday. Aurilia won the 2019 Division II individual championship out of Arcadia High School in Phoenix and now plays for the USC men’s golf team.