In the Blue Devils' second tournament of the season, they had trouble following up their record-breaking victory at the Jim West Challenge to open the year.
No. 2 Duke entered the Windy City Collegiate Championship as the highest-ranked team in the tournament in Highland Park, Ill., Monday and Tuesday, but slipped to fifth place with a three-day score of 19-over-par at Northmoor Country Club’s 6,200-yard, par-71 course. The team played 36 holes on Monday and finished the tournament with an 18-hole round Tuesday. The Blue Devils competed against 15 teams, including six top-20 teams, and finished behind No. 4 Arizona State, No. 8 Oklahoma State, No. 10 Michigan State and No. 21 Florida.
Maddie McCrary of Oklahoma State took home the individual title as she closed the tournament at 6-under-par, while Leona Maguire was the only Duke golfer to finish in the top 10 at 2-over-par.
“The effort was fantastic. We really stayed tough to the end of each round,” Blue Devil head coach Dan Brooks said. “That’s hard to do when you’re played 36 holes in one day. I was proud of their effort.”
Maguire, the only senior in Duke's lineup this week, tied for ninth overall with consistent rounds of 71, 71 and 73. The Cavan, Ireland, native collected her 28th career top-10 finish, but struggled in Tuesday's final round, when she bogeyed three holes in a row and nearly finished the round without a birdie, tapping in for her first red number of the day on the par-5 18th hole.
“She is a natural leader because she has so many skills and she works extremely hard,” Brooks said. “This year, she has really stepped up and has been a little more vocal and been a leader in all the ways you can lead.”
Duke had a young lineup this week, featuring freshman Jaravee Boonchant and redshirt freshman Miranda Wang. Boonchant, a Bangkok native, finished tied for 15th at 4-over par. She racked up plenty of birdies, notching four in the first round at holes No. 1, No. 2, No. 11 and No. 15, three in the second round at No. 4, No. 7 and No. 18, and three in the final round at No. 7, No. 11 and No. 18. But she shot nearly the same amount of bogeys throughout the three rounds to offset her success, and had two double bogeys in the last round to ultimately force her over-par result.
Wang, a Beijing native, made her debut as a Blue Devil after missing the Jim West Challenge for the China Provincial Games. Wang tied for 32nd overall at 9-over-par after a shaky start, with three bogeys and a double bogey in four of her first five holes. Wang bounced back in the second round with three birdies, but still carded four bogeys and ended the tournament with two birdies and four bogeys in the third round.
Sophomore Ana Belac and junior Virginia Elena Carta tied for 43rd at 11-over-par. Belac started strong, shooting 1-under-par in the first round, but ran into trouble in the third round with seven bogeys and two double bogeys. She finished the tournament strong with two birdies in her closing two holes Tuesday.
Carta, on the other hand, had no double bogies, but was unable to counter her 15 bogies with a significant amount of birdies—she had just four in 54 holes. The Udine, Italy native ended with a little momentum, though, as two of those red numbers came in the final five holes of the event.
“This was more of a learning experience than anything else,” Brooks said. “We learned that we need to sharpen up a little bit, but it’s good. We’re in the fall and it’s a long season. We don’t end until the end of May, so it’s good to have an experience like this early in the season.”
The Blue Devils will head down the road to Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill to compete in the Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational Oct. 13-15.