ASU holds off Duke in final round

The women's golf team was unable to climb out of second place at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational Tuesday, finishing at 6-under par, six strokes behind winner Arizona State.

Duke pulled into first place on the front nine of the final 18, but no Blue Devil shot under par on the back nine, as the team relinquished the lead to the Sun Devils.

"You've got to hand it to ASU, they played great golf," head coach Dan Brooks said. "My hat's off to them."

After winning the first three fall tournaments, the No. 1 Blue Devils returned from the winter off-season to post their second-straight runner-up performance of the 2005-2006 schedule.

"Obviously a win would be better than second, and this team likes to win," Brooks said. "So there's definitely some disappointment. There has to be."

But not all was lost. Duke was one of only two teams under par for the tournament and finished 13 strokes ahead of third-place California.

"We shot 6-under in very different conditions than we're used to," Brooks said. "We got a lot of birdies this tournament. I watched some good golf."

Duke's top three golfers, freshman Amanda Blumenherst, junior Anna Grzebien and senior Liz Janangelo, all finished in a three-way tie for eighth at 2-under par.

Blumenherst, the NCAA's top-ranked golfer, dropped three places after shooting even par in the final round-her only round not under par.

No. 3 Grzebien and seventh-ranked Janangelo both moved up from 11th in the final round by posting a pair of 1-under-par 70s.

Freshman Jennie Lee, ranked 28th in the country, rounded out Duke's scoring and finished in 14th place.

Even after three months off and tough playing conditions in Durham, Brooks insisted that the winter off-season did not affect the defending NCAA Champion Blue Devils.

"We take advantage of the harder conditions and say, 'Let's get tough,'" he said. "We come into tournaments with a tough state of mind."

Brooks did add, however, that his team was not used to the warm weather and sunny conditions in Arizona.

Looking for its fourth tournament victory of the 2005-2006 campaign and first of the spring schedule, Duke next tees off south of the border at the California Guadalajara Invitational March 6.


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