Duke men's golf 2024 season preview

Luke Sample is one of many key returners for the Blue Devils in 2024.
Luke Sample is one of many key returners for the Blue Devils in 2024.


The early spring sunshine La Quinta, Calif. radiates the start of a promising new season in collegiate golf for Duke after an impressive end at various fall competitions to close 2023.

This season, the squad is much more veteran than years prior, with three seniors — Jimmy Zheng, Ian Siebers and Daniel Uranga — heading up the group. Bryan Kim and Luke Sample were the top scorers for Duke last fall and will look to maintain their form alongside junior Kelly Chinn, while sophomores Daniel Choi and Ethan Evans are making their lineup debuts in the desert against other ranked opponents such as Washington, Texas Tech and Oregon.

“I think the reality of it is that we’ve got a deep team,” head coach Jamie Green said. “But with a couple guys that maybe haven’t had as much team lineup experience, we feel good about who we are and it’ll be interesting to see what happens.”

Green has good reason to feel confident given the steady growth Duke showed last season and flashed over the course of the fall. But it has yet to be seen how high this team’s ceiling is, and with limited sample size, this group is still somewhat of an unknown in the larger ACC picture.

In any case, the 24th-ranked Blue Devils travel to compete in The Prestige starting Monday until Wednesday, looking to build from last year’s success and make 2024 a spring to remember.

New player to watch: Daniel Choi

The sophomore from Westlake, Texas, has only competed individually so far, but will officially tee off with the Blue Devils in La Quinta. Although Choi is not the newest face on the team, with freshman Bryan Kim on the roster, this will be his first time competing alongside his Blue Devil teammates, effectively making him a new golfer. In his freshman season, he logged a joint-13th place finish in the Husky Invitational and had his best tournament score of 6-under last spring at the Dorado Beach Collegiate. He is also the son of K.J. Choi, who currently plays on the PGA Tour. 

“If you talk about who’s got a hot hand … Daniel Choi has played well to get into the lineup and it’ll be interesting to see how well he transfers his good play locally to the desert,” Green said.

If his impressive play continues from the fall and his individual talents translate to a team setting, Choi could be a vital piece for this Blue Devil roster.

Returning player to watch: William Love

After suffering from a thumb injury in the first tournament of the fall, the sophomore from Atlanta makes his return to the lineup as one of its most promising pieces. Although still awaiting his return to the team this season, Love was one of Duke’s best throughout the fall and last spring. The Westminster product destroyed records in 12 tournaments his freshman season with a 71.8 scoring average through 35 rounds, shot 9-under to end with 63 at the Dorado Beach Collegiate, a freshman record, and had the second-best finish in Blue Devil history for a single round score-to-par at the Stitch Intercollegiate, a 9-under good for a total score of 62. 

“He’s really one of our best players,” Green said. “He has set up some huge low scores for us to help with wins and advance to regionals.”

Love stayed clutch and led Duke beyond the regional stage after notching birdies on four of his last five holes to cap off a 30 on the back nine of the NCAA Norman Regional pushed the Blue Devils to the NCAA Championship. If that sort of play can hold, Duke fans should be thrilled to have him back where he left off.

Most anticipated event: Wake Forest Invitational, March 4-5

Considered one of the most fabulous courses in the world, and even hosting the U.S Open this upcoming summer, Pinehurst No. 2 is an extremely special place for the Blue Devils to play. Last year, Duke finished seventh out of 12 teams at the event and looks to continue to improve from a team finish of 31-over, with Sample finishing in a tie for second place. With the Wake Forest Invitational as their second tournament this spring, the more veteran Blue Devils will hope to set the tone early for the season despite its difficulty.

Best-case scenario

Duke keeps building from last year, this time reaching the ACC Championship finals in Charlotte on a course Green called “an absolute gem.” From there, the Blue Devils make a run in the NCAAs and exceed their finish from last year.

Worst-case scenario

Inexperience gets the worst of the Blue Devils despite the veteran presence. Duke falls back to where it was two years ago, and does not move onto the postseason as its fall form fails to translate to championship season.


Fourth in ACC, season ends in NCAA Championship stroke play


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