The No. 11 Blue Devils look to heat up Monday as the weather cools down at the Isleworth-UCF Collegiate Invitational in Windermere, Fla.
With temperatures in the 90s, Duke struggled Sunday to find its swing over the first nine holes of one of Florida's top-ranked and toughest courses-and against a field featuring 12 teams ranked in the most recent Golfstat ratings.
Collectively, the Blue Devils amassed 16 bogeys and two double-bogeys over the first half of their rounds-which they played on the back nine of Isleworth-and were 9-over as a team. Yet, led by senior Jake Grodzinsky's 3-under par performance over his last nine holes, Duke was able to go 1-under to finish its day at 8-over, in a tie for eighth place and five shots back of the field-leading Georgia.
"[Grodzinsky] said he made some good putts on the front and that seems to be the difference all the time," head coach Rod Myers said. "I was a little concerned early on when he was landing a lot of his shots to the right of the fairway. I was concerned he wasn't focused, but he did a very nice job bringing us back on the second nine."
Grodzinsky finished at 1-over par for the day, along with junior Michael Quagliano. Freshman Adam Long and junior Michael Schachner both fired 3-over par rounds.
"We were really pleased with the end result because we knew we had to play the second nine better than we did the first in order to stay in it," Myers said.
Duke was particularly pleased with its improved play over its last nine holes, considering the front plays approximately two strokes higher than the back, Myers said.
One of the keys for Duke to continuing its successful play from the end of Sunday's round and improving its position tomorrow will be the play of sophomore Clark Klaasen, whose score did not factor into the team's total after he carded a round of 7-over par.
"Clark wasn't driving the ball in the fairway-and he's been driving and playing so well for us lately," Myers said. "He felt good with his drives his practice round, but just got some bad breaks today."
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