Throughout the season, Duke has struggled with consistent play.

And despite posting a pair of 4-under-par 280 scores on consecutive days to start out the tournament, the Blue Devils began to show signs of inconsistency once again Sunday, with freshman phenom Chandler Eaton struggling through four bogeys on the front nine and Duke's top player, Alexander Matlari, unable to get anything going.

With a gutty back nine, however, the No. 21 Blue Devils were able to claim fourth place at the Mason Rudolph Championship at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn., this weekend. After dropping to sixth behind Missouri and Middle Tennessee State thanks to an uninspiring opening nine holes, Matlari, Eaton and Alex Smalley combined for nine birdies in the final five holes to lead Duke to another 280 for the day and an overall 54-hole score of 12-under-par 840.

“In tournaments like these, players don’t know the score unless there is a scoreboard or coaches are telling them [the scores,] which we did not," Blue Devil head coach Jamie Green said. "Coming down the final stretch it was all about poise to close out the round.”

Although Duke finished 18 strokes behind sixth-ranked Florida, champions of the three-day event, the tournament was a mild success for the Blue Devils given a competitive field that featured a top-five side in host Vanderbilt, which finished third. The Tom Kite and Bob Cupp layout, featuring many elevation changes and a mix of open and wooded areas, proved to be a tough test for the field, with an average score over 72.5 for each of the three days.

Individually, Duke was led by Smalley, who carded three under-par rounds to finish in the top 10 at 5-under-par on the weekend. After struggling to start the spring season with two over-par finishes at the Querencia Cabo Collegiate and Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic, Smalley has found his form of late—the 10th place finish in Tennessee follows a second-place performance two weeks ago at the Grand Canyon Invitational.

Another promising sign for the Blue Devils was Adam Wood’s performance on the 7,100 yard, par-71 course. Replacing Matt Oshrine, who missed the event due to a sore back, Wood overcame a mercurial back-nine on the first day, which featured a double bogey, two bogeys, a birdie and an eagle, to finish two-under with scores of 70, 71 and 70, good for a top-25 individual finish.

"Vanderbilt was nice enough to let us bring an extra player when Matt's back tightened up two days before," Green said. "We knew we could go with Adam. I know a lot of guys on our team can play and with three juniors and four seniors I decided to take 12 this year knowing that a lot will graduate. We had another lineup playing in a tournament this weekend and that really speaks to the depth of the team."

Eaton, who leads the team in scoring average at 71.3 per round, used a 4-under-par back nine Sunday to propel him to into a 10th-place tie with Wood. Eaton struggled with his consistency shooting a 39 on the back Saturday to finish at 72 after shooting 33 on the same finishing nine Friday, including an eagle on the par-5 14th. As a team, Duke carded three eagles on that hole, all coming on the first day of the tournament.

Matlari, a senior, continued his solid play with three rounds of 71 or better to finish in the top-15 of the 77-man field.

The Blue Devils' B-team also picked up a second-place finish this weekend in the Intercollegiate Golf Championship in Jacksonville, N.C., at Camp Lejune's Paradise Point Golf Course. Senior Andrew Bieber won the event with a stellar 6-under-par performance despite rainy weather that disrupted play throughout the week.

Duke will get to rest for about two weeks before they take to the links again closer to home at the Wolfpack Spring Open in Raleigh, hosted by N.C. State April 14 and 15. Following that tournament, the Blue Devils will start postseason play with the ACC championship the following week before ultimately closing out the year at the NCAA championship.

“April is a huge month with a lot on the schedule especially with the academics. Everyone knows what they need to work on individually in practice and we are really going to take advantage of the next two weeks," Green said. "It will be nice to drive down the road instead of taking a plane [to Raleigh] and everyone is excited for the ACC championship—it’s a huge event for the players.”