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Blue Devils shoot for home win

The men's golf team will play for the first time since its upset victory at the Fighting Illini Invitational when it hosts the Coca-Cola Duke Classic Sunday at the Washington Duke Golf Club.

The No. 9 Blue Devils, who were named by Golfweek as the National Team of the Week for the first time in program history following their decisive team win in Illinois, will headline a 15-team field that features only two other squads in the top-25-No. 19 North Carolina and No. 25 Charlotte.

Home course advantage has been in Duke's favor recently, as it has won the past two Duke Classics. Yet there is still pressure that comes with playing on your own turf.

"The only trouble with playing on your home course is you're dealing with expectations," Myers said. "You think you know what you can shoot, and how your shots are going to play, but it doesn't always work out the way you expect."

The pressure for Duke to play well at home is even greater this year coming off such a strong performance that brought so many accolades and attention to the team, and in particular freshman Adam Long.

Long, who has played in only one collegiate tournament, is currently ranked No. 1 in Golfweek's individual performance index ranking after losing by one stroke at Olympia Fields.

"I think Adam is certainly going to keep that in proper perspective," Myers said. "Hopefully, he can keep right there with his game. There's no reason to think he can't play like he did in Chicago."

Junior Michael Schachner, who is No. 35 in the Golfweek standings, will join Long, Michael Quagliano, Clark Klaasen and Jake Grodzinsky in this weekend's team lineup. Sophomores Andrew Giuliani and Justin Hare and freshman Jeff Edelman will also compete individually.

"I think everything has been really positive," head coach Rod Meyers said. "We've been working hard and trying to emphasize our short game."

In addition to putting and chipping, the team focused its energy this week on conditioning, as the Blue Devils will face their only remaining 36-hole day Sunday, Myers said.

Play at the Duke Classic will begin with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start Sunday.


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