Team effort leads Duke to victory

Spring break was no break for Duke and its winning ways.

Led by Amanda Blumenherst's tournament-best 9-under-par 207, the Blue Devils won the LSU Golf Classic at the University Club in Baton Rouge, La., finishing six shots ahead No. 7 Vanderbilt. The tournament win is the second consecutive for the the team, which had previously won the UCF Challenge March 6.

Each of the five Duke golfers recorded at least one round at 1-over-par or better, and four of the five turned in at least one below-par scorecard.

"Everyone shined in the tournament," head coach Dan Brooks said. "That's my favorite kind of tournament, when not only everyone contributes, but when everyone plays well and contributes."

Blumenherst carried her hot streak to Louisiana as well, leading the tournament wire-to-wire and finishing eight strokes ahead of the three golfers who tied for second place. The reigning National Player of the Year also notched the tournament's best overall loop, shooting an opening-round 68 on Friday. The individual win is the third in a row for the sophomore, who is currently ranked as the No. 1 collegiate golfer in the nation.

"You'd have to say that she's just playing great right now," Brooks said of Blumenherst. "She's got a really, really good long game, but what she is experiencing now is that her putts are falling. There have been tournaments where she has hit it well but the putts haven't fallen, but now she is being rewarded with those putts falling."

Although there may seem to be some pressure in having to fend off the field after establishing an opening-round lead, as Blumenherst did in Baton Rouge, the sophomore said she does not feel any pressure when attempting to stay on top of the leaderboard.

"Starting off well definitely helps my confidence, but I don't feed off how others are playing," Blumenherst said. "Even if I were down, I would go out and play my best."

Not to be lost in the efforts of Blumenherst were the performances from her teammates. Sophomore Jennie Lee and freshman Alison Whitaker both rebounded from an opening round score of 78 to record under-par performances Sunday.

Lee scored a 2-under-par 70 in her final round, while Whitaker notched a 1-under-par 71. Junior Jennifer Pandolfi also rebounded nicely from a tough opening round, as she carded a 1-under-par 71 Saturday after a tough 11-over-par 83 Friday.


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