With a successful regular season behind them, the Blue Devils have set their sights on an equally fruitful postseason.
No. 3 Duke takes on the rest of its conference this Thursday through Saturday at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., as part of the ACC Championship.
Things have come together for the Blue Devils since September—the team has not finished outside of the top two in its last six tournaments and has three team and three individual titles during that span. Duke will be looking to convert that momentum into the program’s third straight ACC title this weekend.
“I really like the chemistry on the team,” head coach Dan Brooks said. “They’re a hard working group, and there’s a lot of passion on this team for what we are trying to accomplish.”
Leading the Blue Devils is a trio of top-12 golfers. Freshman Yu Liu has finished in the top-10 in each of the seven events she played in this season, and is currently ranked third in the nation with a 71.62 scoring average.
After making an adjustment to increase her distance off the tee, sophomore Celine Boutier has won the last two events Duke has entered. A native of Montrouge, France, Boutier’s recent success has catapulted her to No. 10 in the nation.
Senior Laetitia Beck’s four top-five finishes and 72.21 scoring average on the season have her earned the No. 12 ranking heading into the postseason.
Rounding out Duke’s lineup are freshman Sandy Choi and senior Alejandra Cangrejo, who notched top-three finishes at Sedgefield in her last two ACC Championships.
Sedgefield Country Club, which will play as a par-71 this weekend, hosts the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship annually and is known for its crowned greens that are typical of Donald Ross designs. The Bermuda greens will play hard and fast for the Championship, posing a challenge that Brooks thinks will benefit the team heading into the NCAA Regional Championship next month.
“Playing at Sedgefield is great to be doing towards the end of the season because it’s such a great golf course,” Brooks said. “It’s great preparation for us.”
The Blue Devils will face a conference field that boasts five other top-30 teams, with No. 17 Clemson as the next highest-ranked ACC team after Duke. A win this weekend would give the Blue Devils their second longest streak of ACC Championship titles, behind only the program’s dominant stretch of 13 consecutive victories from 1996 to 2008.
Duke will begin its ACC title hunt Thursday with tee times between 10:30 and 11:10 a.m.