Blue Devils favored to win again

A new year has come but not much has changed in the Golfweek NCAA Women's golf rankings-Duke is still on top.

For the third straight year and the ninth time in 10 years, the Blue Devils earned the No. 1 ranking in Golfweek's preseason poll, released Tuesday. Duke has never been ranked below two in any of Golfweek's past 10 preseason polls.

The rest of the top 10 included Arizona State, Southern California, UCLA, Auburn, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Arizona and Pepperdine. Other ACC schools represented in the top 20 include Wake Forest and North Carolina.

Duke is ready to vie for its fourth consecutive NCAA championship, and the team features four returning starters out of last year's top five, including two-time NCAA National Player of the Year Amanda Blumenherst. The junior from Scottsdale, Ariz. boasts 16 top-10 finishes in 21 tournaments and will anchor a team that also brings back three other returning All-Americans-junior Jennie Lee, sophomore Alison Whitaker and senior Jennifer Pandolfi.

The Blue Devils will tee off their season on Sept. 14-16 in Nashville, Tenn. at the Mason Rudolph Championship.


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