Weather blows away Duke's chances

As the Blue Devils learned this weekend, sometimes the winds do not blow your way.

Faced with the challenge of windy conditions and temperatures hovering in the low 40s, the No. 1 Blue Devils struggled through the final two days of play at the Bryan National Collegiate in Browns Summit, N.C., placing fourth overall behind No. 15 Purdue, No. 7 Florida and No. 20 North Carolina, respectively. Duke had won its past two tournaments.

"The weather was bad, and I think that when it is cold and windy like that, it becomes a little bit of an endurance contest," Duke head coach Dan Brooks said. "You're a little more subject to breaks when you're playing in conditions like that, and some things didn't go our way."

The Blue Devils opened the tournament strong Friday, finishing with a score of 292 that put them one shot behind opening-round leader North Carolina. Led by junior Jennifer Pandolfi's even-par 72, none of Duke's golfers finished above 2-over par on Day 1.

Saturday's weather conditions were not kind to the Blue Devils or their scorecards, however, as the bitter cold and wind helped contribute to a team score of 301. Still, the elements affected most of the field and Duke was perched in second place, one shot behind Florida going into the final round of the tournament. Blumenherst notched the team's only sub-par round with a one-under 71 on Saturday, while senior Anna Grzebien recorded a one-over 73.

"It was tough because you can only swing in so many layers," Grzebien said. "You just have to be patient and know that you are going to give up shots with the conditions out there."

The rough conditions continued through Sunday, as a cold wind continued to blow at the lakeside Bryan Park Champions Course. The Blue Devils scored a 305 in their final round, placing them in fourth for the tournament.

"That round for us certainly isn't our kind of round, but it's certainly not something to be embarrassed about," Brooks said. "We happened to have a day where people all had their bad day on the same day. When that happens, you're going to have a number like that."


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