An intense, action-packed spring season is now upon us as, Duke heads down to the Arizona Intercollegiate for its first tournament of the year. The Blue Devils are currently ranked No. 43 in the country, but head coach Jamie Green and his squad have a lot of potential to boost this ranking. This year, Duke has added three talented freshmen—Kelly Chinn, Luke Sample and John Peters—to its experienced team. Led by sophomore Ian Siebers, the Blue Devils performed well in their handful of fall tournaments. It will be interesting to see how Duke’s young talent mixes in with the older guys.
New golfer to watch: Kelly Chinn
When he committed to the Blue Devils, Chinn was the No. 1 ranked golfer by the American Junior Golf Association and Golfweek. The Great Falls, Va., native was a formidable opponent in his state and national tournaments; last summer, Chinn joined Tiger Woods in being one of four golfers to be a multiple USGA medalist. Despite being one of the younger Blue Devils, the freshman consistently found himself in the tournament lineup this past fall. Chinn will likely utilize his superior talent to become one of the better players in the ACC this year.
Returning golfer to watch: Ian Siebers
It’s hard to find a golfer who had a better freshman season than Siebers. Last year, Siebers had a stroke average of 71.1, which was a Duke freshman record. His impressive season rewarded the Washington native an All-ACC selection, making him a player to watch out for this year. In the fall, Siebers managed to improve his stroke average to 70.1, landing him at 11-under over nine rounds. If Siebers continues to play to this caliber, Duke should expect itself to be a fierce competitor in the ACC.
Most anticipated tournament: Watersound Intercollegiate
The Blue Devils will face a difficult test on Feb. 20-22 at the Watersound Intercollegiate in Panama City Beach, Fla. Several tough programs were invited to the event at the Watersound Club. The Blue Devils will see programs like No. 5 North Carolina, No. 9 Arkansas, No. 17 Georgia Tech, No. 34 N.C. State and No. 48 Florida State. This could be a great opportunity for Green and company to show who they are.
The Blue Devils integrate the young talent into their experienced program and come with a lot of confidence to each tournament. Green and his staff figure out a sufficient five-man tournament lineup, satisfying every need and Siebers continues to exceed expectations. A team like this could be a top-three ACC team when it comes postseason time, and could make a run in NCAAs.
Duke’s young talent fails to perform like they did in high school and has difficulty merging with the veterans in the program. Team chemistry doesn’t hit a sufficient level and a challenging schedule does not yield enough top finishes to give the Blue Devils' the confidence to make a legitimate postseason run.
3rd in the ACC, NCAA Championship stroke-play
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