Duke men's golf responds from slow start, finishes joint-fifth in stacked field at The Prestige

Kelly Chinn was one of many Blue Devils who competed at The Prestige.
Kelly Chinn was one of many Blue Devils who competed at The Prestige.

Duke finished joint-fifth at The Prestige, hosted in La Quinta, Calif., this past Wednesday, the sixth-consecutive time the Blue Devils have finished in fifth place or higher so far this season in what is shaping up to be a great spring campaign. The third round saw them go one below par with a cumulative score of 283, good for -12 overall.

During the first round, sophomore Ethan Evans and freshman Bryan Kim each went -5, impressive performances considering their youth. Junior Kelly Chinn and sophomore Daniel Choi struggled, however, each ending the round with scores above par. The team finished with a cumulative score of 283 for the round, good for -1.

Duke entered the second round in the middle of the pack but ended with a cumulative score of 274, tied for the second-best score in the round. Kelly Chin, Luke Sample and Evans finished with below-par scores in a well-balanced round where only Choi recorded an above-par score. The Red Raiders kept the lead, though, staying ahead with a cumulative score of 273 with Duke trailing just behind. The third round would be the definitive round, giving the Blue Devils one last chance to surpass the frontrunners. 

Texas Tech didn’t win the final round, but the Blue Devils were not able to close out the tournament as they wanted to. The team struggled down the last couple holes as both Kim and Evans recorded bogeys on hole 14. Throughout the fall, Duke was able to perform quite well in the final rounds of tournaments, but the Blue Devils weren’t able capitalize on their excellent second round and gain the advantage this time around.

It was a different story for Duke in the individual tournament, which saw William Love and Jimmy Zheng take first and second place after the conclusion of the first round. Love was particularly impressive, hitting a total of seven birdies out of a possible 18 with only two bogeys for the round. During the second round, it was senior Ian Siebers who made the jump from joint-41st place all the way to joint-seventh as the Bellevue, Wash., native ended at -1 after hitting four birdies in a row. 

It was Siebers and Love who then tied with a gross score of 68 for the third round as both went four-below par. This was good for second place. By the individual tournament’s conclusion, Love had finished second overall while Siebers finished joint-11th, followed by Zheng (T-21) and Daniel Uranga (T-37).

As the spring season gets rolling, Duke will no doubt be hoping to continue its streak of top-five placements at tournaments. However, the team hasn’t been able to win a tournament since Sept. 25, when it placed first of 12 squads during the Rod Myers Invitational in Durham. Maybe that home-field advantage will translate to the Blue Devils’ next outing, a March 4 trip to Pinehurst No. 2 for the Wake Forest Invitational.


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