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Duke WGOLF: Blue Devil Women’s Golf Advances to NCAA Championship

BATON ROUGE, La. – Boosted by back-to-back under-par rounds Friday and Saturday, the top-seeded and fourth-ranked Duke women’s golf team placed fourth overall at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional on its way to advancing to the NCAA Championship for the 28th time in school history.

The Blue Devils registered rounds of one-under, 287, and three-under, 285, over the final two days to finish with a six-over-par, 870, on their way to placing fourth overall at the 6,285-yard, par 72 University Club. Florida and South Carolina tied for first with a 54-hole ledger of 857, while Washington (863), Duke (870), Oregon (882) and Brigham Young (884) advanced to the NCAA Championship.

“I am very proud [of how the team played the last two days],” said Duke head coach Dan Brooks. “We got in a hole after day one. And the pressure can build at regionals. I think we played our best golf as we went along and that says a lot about this team. We actually had 21 birdies today, and everybody had at least three birdies. I think they freed up and played their best golf on the last day when we needed it the most.”

The NCAA Championship will take place May 20-25 at the Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore. Duke will be appearing at nationals for the 21st time out of the last 22 years. Brooks will be taking the Blue Devils to his home state of Oregon as he is from Baker City, Ore., and attended Oregon State.

“I am really looking forward to that [traveling to Oregon for the NCAA Championship],” said Brooks. “Eugene Country Club, we have some great memories there where Amanda [Blumenherst] won the U.S. Amateur. It is a great golf course. I am very much looking forward to getting back to the home state.”

It marked the first time Duke has shot back-to-back red numbers in NCAA Regional play since 2007, which was also held at the University Club in Baton Rouge, La.

After carding just nine birdies in round one and 11 birdies on day two, the Blue Devils registered a season-high 23 birdies Saturday. All five Duke golfers featured at least three birdies on the day.

The Blue Devils placed three golfers in the top seven of the individual listing, which was the most by any team in the field. Junior Sandy Choi was tied third at three-under-par , while freshman Virginia Elena Carta and sophomore Leona Maguire were tied seventh at one-under. South Carolina’s Katelyn Dambaugh won the individual title with a nine-under, 207.

“It feels great and I am super excited to go to nationals with the team,” commented Carta. “I think we did a great job these last two days. We didn’t play as good the first day, but we improved and today we showed how we can play. So I am real excited.”

Choi turned in her second top seven placement at a NCAA Regional over her three years at Duke as she turned in rounds of 73, 69 and 71 for a season-best three-under, 213. A native of Seoul, South Korea, Choi opened her day with back-to-back bogeys, before settling down to play her next 13 holes at four-under-par. She stuck her shots into the green on holes three, four and five to under five feet and drained three straight birdies to get to one-under-par.

“After I made two bogeys, I was pretty upset and I told myself to get it together,” said Choi. “I stuck the next three close to the pin and I was able to make them [for birdie]. Then on the sixth hole I was close to making my fourth birdie, but I missed it a little. Overall it was good and I was very consistent.”

After totaling four consecutive pars, she drained a three-foot birdie on No. 10 to get to two-under. Choi closed with seven pars and one bogey on No. 16 to finish with a one-under, 71. For the second straight day, Choi was able to get up-and-down on No. 18 to preserve her under-par ledger. She hit 14 greens, 14 fairways and had 31 putts on the day. Choi turned in back-to-back red numbers for only the second time this season (Darius Rucker Intercollegiate).

“I think it is because she has such a calm presence on the golf course,” said Brooks on Choi’s performance. “When we get into the important stuff towards the end she just has such great composure, always has the same rhythms, same routines and that is why you do that stuff. So when it is important you play your best game.”

Collecting Duke’s best round of the regional was Carta, a product of Udine, Italy, who fired a career-best five-under-par, 67. It marked the second-lowest round by a Blue Devil freshman in regional action. The lowest was by Virada Nirapathpongporn, who fired a 65 in the 2001 regional played in Chapel Hill, N.C.

“Today I played really good,” said Carta. “My long game again, like yesterday [was great], but what made the difference was my putting. I made a lot of great putts so I am real excited.”

Carta placed tied seventh overall for the week, marking her third straight top 10 finish as the Blue Devils head to the NCAA Championship. She kicked off her morning with back-to-back birdies on No. 1 and No. 2, before moving to three-under after a birdie on the par five sixth. Carta missed the green on the right at No. 10 and ended up with a bogey, but responded with birdies on No. 11, No. 14 and No. 16 to get to five-under-par. During that stretch, she had a key up-and-down on No. 15, which included a 12-foot par putt.

After a three-putt bogey on No. 17, Carta closed with a five-foot birdie on No. 18 to finish with a 67. It marked the second consecutive day she birdied the final hole. Her seven birdies on the round was a career best and her 30 putts was the lowest of the season for the rookie. Carta hit a team-best 16 greens and missed only two fairways (12).

“She loves this, she thrives on it,” commented Brooks on the play of Carta. “You could tell she was having a blast out there.”

Maguire, who hails from Cavan, Ireland, turned in her team-high sixth top 10 finish of the season with rounds of 73, 70 and 72 for a one-under, 215. She registered three birdies on the front nine, but also had two bogeys on No. 2 and No. 4 due to missing the fairway off the tee. Maguire closed the front nine by sticking her approach to one foot for birdie. After missing the fairway again on No. 10 and No. 14, she suffered bogeys, but closed the day by sinking a one-foot putt on No. 18 to finish with a 72. Maguire hit 10 fairways, 13 greens and had 31 putts.

In two NCAA regional appearances, Maguire has placed first and tied seventh overall. She now owns 14 rounds of even or under par on the season to lead the Blue Devils.

Sophomore Gurbani Singh had a solid start to her day as she rolled in birdies on No. 4 and No. 6 to get to two-under. This included draining a 15-foot putt on the 341-yard, par four fourth hole. Singh, who is from New Delhi, India, couldn’t get up and down on No. 8 and suffered her first bogey of the day. She hit her approach shot past the green on No. 10 and had a double-bogey to drop back to one-over. Singh came back to par four straight and then rolled in a 20-foot birdie on No. 15 to move back to even par. She closed with three consecutive bogeys to finish with a 75. Singh was tied 44th overall with a 227, after hitting 14 greens, 12 fairways and rolling 35 putts.

Senior Celine Boutier improved her scores each day and signed for a four-over, 76, Saturday on her way to finishing 68th with a 233. Boutier, who is from Montrouge, France, was four-over following four holes, but settled down to birdie No. 6 and No. 11 to get to two-over. She added another birdie on No. 15, but hit her approach into the greenside hazard on No. 17 and finished with a double-bogey. Boutier hit nine greens, seven fairways and had a season-high 37 putts.

Duke is a six-time NCAA Champion (1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2014) under Brooks and will travel to the state of Oregon for the first time since 2005, which the Blue Devils won the NCAA title in Sunriver, Ore.

“I am very happy that we made it to nationals,” said Choi. “I knew that our team was going to come back from the first day. Virginia, she played very well the last day, and I am very proud of her. She is a very good player and I knew she would be able to score well today.”

#GoDuke

Duke Results
T3 T4 Sandy Choi Duke 73 69 71 213 -3
T25 T7 Virginia Elena Carta Duke 76 72 67 215 -1
T6 T7 Leona Maguire Duke 73 70 72 215 -1
T46 T44 Gurbani Singh Duke 76 76 75 227 +11
T72 68 Celine Boutier Duke 79 78 76 233 +17

1 2 3 Team Scores
4 3 T1 Florida 293 287 277 857 -7
2 1 T1 South Carolina 290 277 290 857 -7
1 2 3 Washington 286 289 288 863 -1
T7 4 4 Duke 298 287 285 870 +6
3 T5 5 Oregon 292 296 294 882 +18
T7 T5 6 Brigham Young 298 290 296 884 +20
5 8 7 Houston 295 300 290 885 +21
6 7 8 Arizona State 296 298 297 891 +27
10 9 T9 East Carolina 301 301 302 904 +40
12 10 T9 Harvard 308 295 301 904 +40
9 11 11 LSU 299 310 296 905 +41
11 13 12 North Carolina State 307 307 293 907 +43
13 12 13 Augusta 311 301 301 913 +49
T17 T16 14 North Florida 322 300 303 925 +61
16 14 15 Denver 315 304 307 926 +62
15 T16 16 New Mexico 313 309 305 927 +63
14 15 17 Wichita State 312 308 315 935 +71
T17 18 18 Fairleigh Dickinson 322 313 321 956 +92

Start Finish Player Team Scores
1 1 Katelyn Dambaugh South Carolina 70 66 71 207 -9
T11 2 Karolina Vlckova Florida 74 71 65 210 -6
2 3 Charlotte Thomas Washington 73 67 71 211 -5
T8 T4 Elise Bradley LSU 72 72 69 213 -3
T3 T4 Lea Garner Brigham Young 73 69 71 213 -3
T3 T4 Sandy Choi Duke 73 69 71 213 -3
T16 T7 Leonie Harm Houston 69 77 69 215 -1
T8 T7 Linnea Strom Arizona State 71 73 71 215 -1
T25 T7 Virginia Elena Carta Duke 76 72 67 215 -1
T6 T7 Leona Maguire Duke 73 70 72 215 -1
T16 T7 Maria Torres Florida 71 75 69 215 -1
T11 T12 Anna Zhou Harvard 75 70 71 216 E
T11 T12 Madison Talley * Kansas State 70 75 71 216 E
T8 T12 Sarah Schmelzel South Carolina 75 69 72 216 E
T16 T15 Cathleen Santoso Oregon 71 75 71 217 +1
T6 T15 Ying Luo Washington 69 74 74 217 +1
T3 T15 Julianne Alvarez Washington 70 72 75 217 +1
T16 18 Meghan MacLaren * Florida International 72 74 72 218 +2
T16 T19 Madison Kerley Arizona State 73 73 73 219 +3
T16 T19 F. Gustafsson Spang East Carolina 76 70 73 219 +3
T23 T19 Marion Veysseyre South Carolina 70 77 72 219 +3
T25 T22 Eunice Yi Augusta 77 71 72 220 +4
T46 T22 Ashley Holder * UCF 73 79 68 220 +4
T32 T22 Samantha Wagner Florida 80 69 71 220 +4
T16 T25 Yuka Kajiki Houston 74 72 75 221 +5
T35 T25 Marcella Pranovia Oregon 74 76 71 221 +5
T32 T25 Kelly Grassel Florida 72 77 72 221 +5
T25 T25 Taylor Tomlinson Florida 76 72 73 221 +5
T11 29 Ainhoa Olarra South Carolina 76 69 77 222 +6
T25 T30 Chieh Jessica Peng * Mississippi St. U. 73 75 75 223 +7
T35 T30 Rachael Taylor North Carolina State 72 78 73 223 +7
T25 T30 Isi Nilsson South Carolina 75 73 75 223 +7
T35 T30 Wenyung Keh Washington 74 76 73 223 +7
T25 T30 Manon Molle New Mexico 77 71 75 223 +7
T40 T35 Raegan Bremer Houston 75 76 73 224 +8
T23 T35 Josefine Nyqvist Augusta 73 74 77 224 +8
T55 T35 Ji Eun Baik * Mississippi St. U. 78 76 70 224 +8
T32 T35 Caroline Inglis Oregon 75 74 75 224 +8
T55 T35 Jessica Dreesbeimdieke Denver 75 79 70 224 +8
T11 T35 Petra Salko Oregon 74 71 79 224 +8
T40 T35 Mary Dawson North Florida 77 74 73 224 +8
T49 T42 Megan Thothong Houston 77 76 73 226 +10
T65 T42 Sarah Rhee Washington 78 78 70 226 +10
T49 T44 Rose Huang Brigham Young 75 78 74 227 +11
T35 T44 Kathleen Scavo Oregon 73 77 77 227 +11
T46 T44 Gurbani Singh Duke 76 76 75 227 +11
T35 T44 Alex White Brigham Young 76 74 77 227 +11
T25 T44 Brooklyn Hocker Brigham Young 74 74 79 227 +11
T46 T44 Emelie Alpe North Florida 82 70 75 227 +11
T65 50 Lisa Pettersson East Carolina 78 78 72 228 +12
T63 T51 Michelle Xie Harvard 81 74 74 229 +13
T40 T51 Monica Vaughn Arizona State 75 76 78 229 +13
T40 T51 Nico Engstroem Skaug East Carolina 72 79 78 229 +13
T55 T51 Emma Svensson * Central Arkansas 77 77 75 229 +13
T65 T51 Darian Zachek New Mexico 78 78 73 229 +13
T55 T56 Sydney Cavin LSU 73 81 76 230 +14
T86 T56 Naomi Ko North Carolina State 80 82 68 230 +14
T55 T56 Bryce Schroeder Wichita State 79 75 76 230 +14
T65 T59 Sophia Zeeb Arizona State 77 79 75 231 +15
T49 T59 Roberta Liti Arizona State 77 76 78 231 +15
T65 T59 Kathleen Gallagher LSU 77 79 75 231 +15
T63 T59 Nadine Dreher LSU 77 78 76 231 +15
T72 T59 Leonie Bettel North Carolina State 76 81 74 231 +15
T49 T64 Emily Gilbreth Houston 77 76 79 232 +16
T49 T64 Lita Guo Harvard 76 77 79 232 +16
T76 T64 Kendra Dalton Brigham Young 85 73 74 232 +16
T55 T64 Sarah Bae North Carolina State 81 73 78 232 +16
T72 68 Celine Boutier Duke 79 78 76 233 +17
T72 T69 Christine Lin Harvard 80 77 77 234 +18
T40 T69 Catherine Ashworth East Carolina 75 76 83 234 +18
T40 T69 Anne Cheng Harvard 77 74 83 234 +18
T65 T69 Jessica Carty Denver 79 77 78 234 +18
T55 T69 India Clyburn North Carolina State 79 75 80 234 +18
T55 T69 Taryn Torgerson Wichita State 75 79 80 234 +18
T65 T75 Kate Law East Carolina 79 77 79 235 +19
T72 T75 Gabriela Santini Fairleigh Dickinson 81 76 78 235 +19
T79 T77 Jessica Haigwood Augusta 74 85 77 236 +20
T76 T77 Ingrid Gutierrez New Mexico 78 80 78 236 +20
T76 T77 Anneke Strobach Fairleigh Dickinson 82 76 78 236 +20
T81 T80 Megan Wilshire North Florida 85 75 78 238 +22
T79 T80 Rebecca Wright Fairleigh Dickinson 79 80 79 238 +22
T92 T82 Cecilia Diez-Moliner Augusta 87 78 75 240 +24
T81 T82 Maria Alejandra Villalobos Wichita State 86 74 80 240 +24
T49 T82 Mariell Bruun Denver 78 75 87 240 +24
T86 T85 Eva Saulnier New Mexico 82 80 79 241 +25
T89 T85 Nathalie Nygren North Florida 82 81 78 241 +25
T92 T87 Teresa Caballer Hernani Augusta 87 78 77 242 +26
T89 T87 Meghan Schuetz Jack Wichita State 78 85 79 242 +26
91 T87 Katharina Baratta-Dragaro Denver 83 81 78 242 +26
T84 T87 Sophie Newlove Denver 88 73 81 242 +26
T81 T87 Gavrilla Arya Wichita State 80 80 82 242 +26
T86 T87 Alexandra Moisand New Mexico 80 82 80 242 +26
95 93 Kelly Aylwin North Florida 81 86 77 244 +28
T84 94 Ariadna Castro Fairleigh Dickinson 80 81 86 247 +31
94 95 Marina Hedlund LSU 82 84 82 248 +32
96 96 Celeste McLean Fairleigh Dickinson 82 86 90 258 +42