The Blue Devils did not stray far from par this past weekend. Duke, along with seven other top-10 ranked NCAA teams, hit the links at the University of Georgia Golf Course for the Liz Murphy Preview.
Despite the competitive field of competition, the Blue Devils were not blown off course, however. Duke, who finished the tournament tied for sixth place with a total 888, recorded only one hole worse than a bogey during the three days of play.
Blue Devil head coach Dan Brooks knows how hard that is to do considering the difficulty of the course.
“[Only one hole worse than bogey for the whole tournament as a team] was one of the best stats that I have for the tournament,” Brooks said. “Only one score is thrown out each day, and we only had one hole that was over-bogey in the whole tournament. That’s a really great stat for the team.”
Duke, which finished 12 shots behind the tournament winner and conference foe, North Carolina, was yet again led by senior Lindy Duncan.
The senior from Fort Lauderdale, FL. finished the tournament tied for fifth place at even par, just three shots behind individual tournament winner Mary Michael Maggio. The Texas A&M senior shot up the leaderboard after day one of play, when she sat tied for 15th place. After shooting a 72 and 74 in her first and second rounds, respectively, she shot a 67 in her third round, earning herself the hardware.
Duncan finished well on day three, recording a score of 2-under-par, giving her a total score of 216 on the tournament. Duncan won this tournament in 2010 by a margin of eight shots, marking her first ever collegiate win.
Duncan is currently ranked the No. 1 women’s golfer in the nation.
“[Lindy] struggles with setting pretty high expectations for herself,” Brooks said. “They are sort of built in but she does put a good amount of pressure on herself… but [regardless] she absolutely never stops. She birdied the last two holes today. That takes determination.”
The Tar Heels won the tournament with a score of 12-over-par, and Duke recorded a score of 24-over-par.
“It’s a good golf course,” Brooks said. “It’s challenging, and it was wet. Some of the holes were long. There are some par-fours that really play long anyway, and particularly when it’s wet and the greens are bumpy… it’s hard to get as many putts as you want to fall.”
The Blue Devils finished play before a lot of teams were off the course, but knew that they were not in contention to win the tournament.
“We piled in the van and took off [when we finished our last round],” Brooks said. “We had enough information to know that we were not going to receive a trophy.”
The Blue Devils will head a few miles down the road to the Tar Heel Invitational at Finley Golf Course Friday and hope to have the same luck that the Duke men’s team had there just a few weeks ago when they took the title.