The Blue Devils have struggled with consistency in recent years, and coming off a second-place finish were once again unable to back up a solid stretch of play.
No. 19 Duke finished 11th out of 15 teams at the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational at Colonial Country Club—that annually hosts a PGA Tour event—in Fort Worth, Texas, Sunday through Tuesday. The Blue Devils grabbed the lead in their previous start at the Inverness Intercollegiate and ultimately finished second, but never found a rhythm this week on the challenging par-70 course.
Duke opened with a 7-over-par round and finished with a three-day total of 30-over-par, 31 strokes behind No. 9 Vanderbilt, which bested SEC rival and No. 8 Florida by one stroke to win the event. The tournament's field featured six other top-15 teams.
Junior Jake Shuman tied for first individually at the Inverness Intercollegiate and looked to be on his way to another strong finish following a 2-under-par 68 Sunday. But the Needham, Mass., native struggled in the tournament's second round, firing a 12-over-par 82 to plummet down the leaderboard.
Shuman rebounded with a 1-over-par 71 in the final round Tuesday—a day when no team shot better than 8-over-par collectively, but with the high score in the second round finished tied for 42nd.
With Shuman struggling, senior Max Greyserman paced the Blue Devils following a slow start. Greyserman's first-round score of 76 did not count toward Duke's team score—tournaments use the best four scores from a five-man lineup—but he recovered with a 3-over-par 73 and 2-under-par 68 in the final 36 holes to finish tied for 30th. Greyserman's final round was tied for the best score in the field Tuesday.
Shuman and Greyserman were the only Blue Devils to card under-par scores during the week—sophomore Alex Smalley, senior Matt Oshrine and freshman Chandler Eaton all finished outside the top 40. Smalley tied for 40th place, Oshrine tied with Shuman for 42nd and Eaton tied for 60th at 17-over-par after replacing junior Adam Wood in the lineup for the event.
Eaton finished in the top five competing as an individual at the Inverness Intercollegiate, supplanting Wood—who led Duke in scoring average last year—in Duke's starting five, but could not find a rhythm on the 7,204-yard course this week.
The freshman and his teammates will look to bounce back at the United States Collegiate Championship in Eaton's hometown of Alpharetta, Ga., starting Oct. 21.
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