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Duke looks to advance at Regionals

The road to Hot Springs, Va. begins Thursday for the 20th-ranked Blue Devil men's golf team as they start play in the NCAA East Regional at the Yale Golf Course in New Haven, Conn. The competition will mark Duke's 18th overall and sixth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.

The Blue Devils are seeded eighth in the regional, fourth among ACC teams. Last year, the team used a fifth-place finish at the East Regionals in Auburn, Ala. to propel them to the championship finals. The top 10 teams and two individuals from each regional will receive a ticket to this year's championship round at Cascades Golf Course, The Homestead, in Hot Springs, Va., hosted by Virginia Tech.

This year, the Blue Devils hope to use the strength of top-five finishes in three of their last four tournaments to get them to The Homestead. The Blue Devils are lead by a pair of sophomore All-ACC selections in Ryan Blaum and Nathan Smith. Blaum, a Coral Gables, Fla. native, is the 27th ranked men's golfer nationally. He leads the Blue Devils and is fifth in the ACC with a 71.62 stroke average. Meanwhile Smith, the nation's 35th best men's golfer, paces the team in top-five finishes with four and ranks eighth in the ACC with a 72.27 stroke average.

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