Former Arizona State men’s golf student Nicolo Galletti said he didn’t have his best on the final day of the 2022 Arizona Open.
Galletti, who turned pro after graduating from ASU in 2017, shot to par on Wednesday but it was enough for him to claim victory at the 2022 Arizona Open with a 12-under par over three days of 198 at Mesa Country Club, a par-70 course.
“It’s amazing, it’s really good to be able to pull off this one and finish strong,” Galletti said. “I definitely didn’t have my best stuff today compared to the last two days, it was playing a lot tougher today too, but I was really happy with how I grinded for a lot of starts for at less keep me with a little bit of lead.
Arizona Open House 1: A young pro plays his first tournament in his home country
Galletti shot 7 under on Monday and 5 under on Tuesday on his way to victory.
Galletti found himself competing on the final four holes on Wednesday, however, as Grant Booth made crucial birdie putts on holes 15 and 16. On both holes, Galletti had a chance to tie the putt of birdie from Booth but missed the hole by a few feet.
“It was a bit frustrating,” Galletti said. “Obviously it was a lot harder to birdie today, but I wasn’t doing either, I wasn’t hitting close enough to the hole. So on 16 and 17, I gave myself two decent chances to putt for a birdie, and those are big putts. If I had done that, it would have been huge, to give me some room.
Booth bogeyed on the 17th hole and had to catch two shots down the stretch to level Galletti and force the playoff.
Galletti pared 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 went over the hole a few feet and tapped for a birdie – ending 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, the perfect speed, and then it didn’t work.
Booth, who finished tied for second with 2019 Arizona Open winner Charlie Beljan, will receive $11,125 for his runner-up finish.
“I’m obviously grateful to be here to do what I’m doing this year and earn some money along the way,” Booth said. “I’m sure I’ll probably feel a little better when I see him touch the bank account than I feel now.”
Arizona Open House 2: Galletti leads, Peoria native leads amateurs
Galletti will take home $24,000 for his first place finish. After spending the winter on the Latinoamérica Tour, where his best result was a tie for fourth place at the Argentina Open in December 2021, Galletti said he was grateful for a winning purse.
“It’s huge, yeah, it’s big,” Galletti said of his winnings. “It’s going to be a big help. I really needed the money, I was a bit in debt with professional golf, obviously it’s a very expensive sport, and it’s very expensive to travel and stuff. Whenever you can win and earn money like this, it always helps.
Galletti does not plan to return to the Latinoamérica Tour, which ended its 2021-22 season in June. He plans to attend Q school later this month, hoping to take part in the Korn Ferry Tour.
Gavin Aurilia finished first among amateurs and fifth overall with an 8-under score on Wednesday. Aurilia won the 2019 Division II Individual Championship at Arcadia High School in Phoenix and now plays for the USC men’s golf team.