Duke men's golf travels to Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate for 'Masters of college golf'

<p>Jake Shuman and the Blue Devils have had an up-and-down fall so far.&nbsp;</p>

Jake Shuman and the Blue Devils have had an up-and-down fall so far. 

The Blue Devils might not being playing for a green jacket this weekend, but they will be playing in their version of the Masters.

No. 23 Duke will look to rebound from an 11th-place finish at the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational two weeks ago when it heads to Alpharetta, Ga., Friday through Sunday for the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate. The 17-team field will feature four of the nation’s top eight teams—including No. 2 Oklahoma State and No. 4 Auburn,—and will be tested at both the club’s Creekside and the Lakeside Courses, par-72 layouts that measure more than 7,000 yards. 

The tournament, which has been dubbed the “Masters of college golf,” will give the Blue Devils a taste of professional golf. Caddies, galleries following right behind players in the fairway, and long pants will all be in store for the best collegiate players—conditions that are usually reserved for the PGA Tour.

But in order to hit shots suitable for professionals, Duke will have to raise its level of play.

Despite a second place finish at the Inverness Intercollegiate in September, the Blue Devils have been inconsistent this fall, finishing 11th and fifth in their other tournaments. In the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational, Duke carded just two under-par rounds and finished 30-over-par.

Junior Jake Shuman carded one of those under-par rounds, a season-best 2-under-par 68 in the first round, but shot an uncharacteristic 12-over-par 82 in his second round. The Blue Devils’ leader in scoring average, Shuman will lead the way in the No. 1 slot this week and owns two top-10 finishes this season.

After carding the team's second-best finish by tying for 30th in the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational, Max Greyserman will be slotted second in head coach Jamie Green’s lineup this week. The senior owns the team’s best scoring average on par-5 holes this year, which should bode well on both the Lakeside and Creekside courses. The courses feature seven par-5s combined on two relatively short courses, with the tree and water-lined layouts demanding precision and accuracy off the tee.

Sophomore Alex Smalley, senior Alexander Matlari and freshman Chandler Eaton, the No. 13-ranked junior player in his class, will fill out the rest of Green’s lineup. 

An Alpharetta native, Eaton will return home and slide down from the third to the final spot after being finishing tied for 60th at the Nike Golf Intercollegiate at 17-over-par. Following a slow start to his college career, Eaton flashed his potential at the Inverness Collegiate, finishing tied for fourth overall at 2-under-par.

He and the rest of the Blue Devils will look for more consistency this week before heading to the Bridgestone Golf Collegiate.


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