Duke sits in 9th with 1 day to play

After a disappointing opening round in the Puerto Rico Classic Feb. 26, the 10th-ranked men's golf team moved up five spots during the second day, cracking the top 10 on the leaderboard.

Duke's two-day stroke total of 585 puts the team into a ninth-place tie with North Carolina State and Arizona, 22 shots back of leader Oklahoma State.

The Blue Devils were paced by their seniors. Ryan Blaum bounced back from his first round woes by shooting a 67-a 13-stroke improvement. Blaum, last year's ACC Player of the Year, is in a tie for 47th, despite finishing more than eight strokes above his average on the first day.

Senior Nathan Smith continued his solid play from day one. Smith, who fired a 74, is currently tied for 25th with teammate Michael Quagliano at 4-over-par 144.

Quagliano, a sophomore who only played two rounds in the fall season, played very consistently in his second round, shooting a 72 to match his card from the opening round.

Junior Jake Grodzinsky continued to underachieve in day two. Grodzinsky, who is currently ranked sixth nationally, carded a 6-over-par 76, which dropped him 21 spots in the individual standings. He finished the day in 59th place.

Overall, the field became much closer after the second round. First-round leader Alabama dropped to fourth place in the standings. Second-place Georgia is one stroke off the lead and is followed by Florida (575) in third.

The third and final round of the tournament starts Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. at the Westin Rio Mar Country Club.


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