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Duke women's golf continues fall slate at Landfall Tradition

<p>Sophomore Leona Maguire picked up another individual win during fall break at the Tar Heel Invitational and will look to continue her strong start to the fall season this weekend at the Landfall Tradition.</p>

Sophomore Leona Maguire picked up another individual win during fall break at the Tar Heel Invitational and will look to continue her strong start to the fall season this weekend at the Landfall Tradition.

Duke is well-rested and looking to continue its strong season on the back of sophomore Leona Maguire.

The Blue Devils travel to Wilmington, N.C., this weekend to take part in the Landfall Tradition, which takes place Friday through Sunday at the Country Club of Landfall. Coming off a strong showing at the Tar Heel Invitational during fall break, the Blue Devils are ready to take on the strong teams at the Landfall. Head coach Dan Brooks gave the team the week off as a show of good faith, but for the Blue Devils, there is no rest.

"Turns out they came out on their own," Brooks said. “They are having a week pretty similar to any other [practice] week. The girls all came out and worked very hard—completely by choice—and that is exciting.”

Even with a big tournament coming up, Brooks had enough faith in his young squad to give them a light week, and they responded by working even harder. That hard work is reflected in the results the team has seen so far this season. Maguire, the reigning National Player of the Year, finished first at the Tar Heel Invitational with a four-under-par ledger of 212, closing with birdies on No. 16 and No. 17. She helped the Blue Devils win the Invitational for the third straight year and the 14th time in school history.

“Leona really has a champion mindset,” Brooks said. “She doesn’t leave any stone unturned. She wanted to know what kind of greens were [at Landfall]. She is ready to play some great golf.”

Maguire, who hails from Cavan, Ireland, posted nine top-five finishes as a true freshman last year, and another rookie is already following in her footsteps. Freshman Virginia Elena Carta tied with a team-high four birdies at the Tar Heel Invitational and matched her career low with a one-under-par 71 final round that helped her finish tied for seventh. Carta has been a young spark for the Blue Devils, who always seem to find a way to replace the talent lost to graduation.

In the Annika Invitational earlier this season, the Udine, Italy, native started off her career by finishing with three birdies in her final five holes and tying for 28th in her first weekend of collegiate golf.

“[Carta] brings a great deal of enthusiasm to this team,” Brooks said. “That is contagious and we have so much to be thankful for, and when somebody comes in and reminds you of that, that is special.”

Duke will look to get victory No. 124 this weekend for Brooks, who leads all current Division I head coaches in career wins. The Landfall Tradition will include five of the top 20 teams in the nation, including the No. 6 Blue Devils, No. 11 Oklahoma State, No. 4 South Carolina, No. 10 Virginia and No. 14 Wake Forest. Other schools participating include UNC Wilmington, N.C. State, Clemson and Notre Dame.

The Blue Devils played well despite finishing fourth in the tournament last year, but is trying to prevent last year's result from hanging over their heads.

“We have to stay in the present,” Brooks said. “We want to make ourselves better each day. You hope over time that that is how you approach golf completely. You don’t think about what you did last year at this tournament—it is pretty much irrelevant.”

Duke tees off at 8 a.m. Friday morning.


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