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Blue Devils aiming for NCAAs

Coming off of a disappointing finish at the ACC Championships more than three weeks ago, the Blue Devils will head to Ohio to attempt to qualify for the NCAA Championships this weekend.

Duke will compete in this weekend's Central Regional at the Sand Ridge Golf Club in Chardon, Ohio as the tournament's fifth seed.

Although the team is leaving the familiar terrain of the East Coast behind, some of the other teams in the field are all too familiar-ACC foes Georgia Tech and Clemson are slated at No. 2 and No. 4, respectively.

The last time the Blue Devils saw these two teams, they were looking up the leaderboard. In the ACC Championships, the Yellow Jackets finished 33 strokes ahead of Duke, winning a share of the title, while Clemson finished solidly in third.

Duke's disappointing eighth-place finish at the ACCs this year is in stark contrast to its position at this same time last year, when the Blue Devils had taken the team title and then-junior Ryan Blaum had clinched individual honors.

"I don't think our attitude is any different," Myers said. "We were naturally disappointed with our finish. But we went into the NCAAs last year on a high note and still barely advanced."

Final exams and graduation activities precluded the team from holding formal practices and qualifying rounds last week, but Myers believes Duke is at no greater disadvantage than any other team in the field.

"If we play our game, I'm confident we can win one of those spots in the finals," Myers said.

The course at the Sand Ridge Golf Club has usually been more demanding of teams than the Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point, where the ACCs were held. Myers said the upgrade in difficulty gives Duke an advantage.

"We feel as if we have a better chance the harder the golf course," Myers said.

Michael Quagliano, a sophomore who had performed well earlier in the season, was not on Duke's roster for the ACCs but will play in the NCAAs. He will join Blaum, Klaasen, junior Jake Grodzinsky, and Michael Schachner in the Blue Devil lineup.


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