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Golfers finish 3rd at Duke Classic

Coming off an impressive victory two weeks ago at the Illini Invitational, head coach Rod Myers knew he needed to address the question of expectations with his team before this weekend's home tournament.

"I told our guys before we started we were going to be dealing with expectations," Myers said. "You never know quite what's going through their minds. I certainly have certain expectations, but you have to guard against them being unrealistic."

Heeding Myers' advice, the Blue Devils came out firing Sunday morning at the Washington Duke Golf Club but slipped up as the first round progressed and stood in sixth place after the round.

Duke bounced back with strong performances in the second round Sunday afternoon and the third Monday, but the effort fell short as Coastal Carolina ran away with the team title. The Blue Devils finished in third place at 5-over-par 869-18 shots behind Coastal Carolina and five behind North Carolina.

"Coastal Carolina played extremely well," Myers said. "I don't think we were ready to shoot the scores they shot to win the tournament. I would have liked to pick up a couple more and get past [North] Carolina, but that didn't happen either."

After Myers' pre-tournament talk, Jake Grodzinsky led the Blue Devils out of the gate with four birdies over his first eight holes. But the senior was 8-over par on the final 10 holes-including double and triple bogeys-to finish the round at 4-over-par 76.

"That was a big turnaround for us," Myers said. "Nobody got anything going for us [in the morning]. We played very well in the afternoon."

In Sunday's second round, Clark Klaasen paced Duke's charge up the leaderboard with a 5-under-par loop. Grodzinsky bounced back with an even-par 72, and the Blue Devils finished the second round 4-under par.

Klaasen led Duke again Monday, as he and freshman Adam Long-who came into the tournament ranked as Golfweek's No.1 player in the nation-each carded 71s.

"He can really knock the flagstick down," Myers said of Klaasen. "He has really struck the ball well in tournaments so far."

Duke's even-par final round was enough to move up to a third-place finish at the Duke Classic, which the Blue Devils had won the last two years.

"It was an OK weekend," Myers said. "The golf course set up difficultly, and we played pretty well."

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