Duke men's golf starts season with Invitational at the Open Course

Looking to rebound from a 2013 season that included one top-three finish and culminated in a 10th-place finish at the ACC Championship, Duke will hit the links for the first time this season Friday.

The Blue Devils head to Kiawah Island, S.C., for the annual Invitational at the Ocean Course, with 18-hole rounds to be played Friday through Sunday. The 14-team field also includes defending event champion South Florida, Kentucky and Navy.

Duke will trot out an experienced lineup for its first competition of the fall, led by seniors Turner Southey-Gordon and Michael Ricaurte. Junior Motin Yeung was one of the Blue Devils' stronger competitors in 2013, and will be joined by sophomore Max Greyserman and freshman Adam Wood. Wood's classmate, Jake Shuman, will make his collegiate debut this weekend, competing as an individual.

Despite the wealth of experience at the top of the lineup, the Blue Devils also have a lot of youth. Wood and Shuman are two of six freshmen on the roster and will be the only rookies to see action this weekend. The duo had decorated high school careers—Wood was a four-time all-state selection in Indiana, and Shuman captured two Massachusetts state individual titles.

Yeung figures to be the anchor of this year's Duke squad. The Beijing native led the 2013 team in stroke average, top 10 finishes, under-par rounds and even-par rounds, and will be counted on to lead the Blue Devils back to contention in the ACC.

Normally, the par-72, 7,155-yard course at Kiawah Island offers plenty of birdie opportunities; however, a stormy forecast for the weekend should make the course a more difficult play. The Invitational’s defending champion, South Florida, birdied 46 times at Kiawah last year, while third-place finisher Kentucky, tallied 48 birdies.

Charleston Southern, the College of Charleston, Francis Marion, Georgia Southern, Stephen F. Austin, Western Carolina, Troy, Towson, Georgia State, Western Carolina and Texas-Arlington will also compete at Kiawah Island this weekend, making the 2014 field the largest tournament in the Ocean Course Invitational’s history.


Share and discuss “Duke men's golf starts season with Invitational at the Open Course” on social media.