Duke women's golf set to cap off fall schedule
No. 4 Duke is one of the nine teams ranked in Golfweek's top 25 that will compete in the 18-team, 54-hole Landfall Tradition at the Pete Dye Course at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, N.C. The Blue Devils won the Tar Heel Invitational by 11 strokes two weeks ago in Chapel Hill and have finished in the top five in each of their three prior fall tournaments. Despite their success, their outlook remains the same.
"I'm still expecting them to stay involved in the process," head coach Dan Brooks said. "That's the usual thing that I expect. It's not about results—it's about process. If we take the same approach each day, each hole, each shot, then the results will come out."
Duke will be led by senior Laetitia Beck, who has already gathered two top-10 finishes this season. Beck will be joined by sophomore Celine Boutier, who finished tied for third with Beck and two others at the Tar Heel Invitational, and freshmen Yu Liu, Sandy Choi and Esther Lee. Choi has started every event for Duke and Liu has posted two top-10 finishes in both of her fall starts, but Lee will be making her first start as a Blue Devil, giving the team a dynamic trio of freshmen.
"She's a talented player," Brooks said. "She [finally] got herself into the lineup, she qualified. We've had a team of tough competitors this semester. To break into the lineup is a great thing. I'm excited for her."
Lee will be taking senior Alejandra Cangrejo's spot in the lineup, though Cangrejo will still compete in the event as an individual. Even though Duke has a majority of freshmen in the lineup, all three are seasoned junior golfers who were highly-touted out of high school, meaning that their strategies do not differ from those of the older players.
"The thing [for them] to do is still stay in process," Brooks said. "It's one shot at a time, play your golf, and the results will take care of themselves."
Pete Dye is one of the most famous golf course designers in the world and is best known for designing TPC Sawgrass, the annual site of The Players Championship on the PGA Tour, and its par-3 17th hole that features an island green. His namesake course is a par-72 course that can present many visually intimidating shots because of its hazards and hills. The course recently switched from bentgrass greens to Bermuda grass greens, which will also present a challenge to the Blue Devils.
"It's a very good course," Brooks said. "It's one of my favorite courses. It's very challenging. Some people think it's his best course. It's a nice mixture of challenge and reward. [The Bermuda greens are] going to make it even more challenging because it's going to be a little firmer. Some of the greens are interesting shapes and aren't very big. We're going to have a heck of a challenge.... I wouldn't imagine the scores are going to be terribly low."