NCAA golf: Duke, N.C. State advance; UNC women eliminated

May. 10, 2014 @ 08:43 PM

For the 26th time in school history and the 19th out of the last 20 years, the Duke women’s golf team will participate in the NCAA Championship.

The top-seeded and third-ranked Blue Devils tied for third with N.C. State Satruday at the NCAA East Regional at the 6,257-yard, par 72 SouthWood Golf Club.

The top eight teams in the regional advance to the NCAA Championship.

In Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, the UNC women were eliminated from title contention, finishing 14th overall. The Tar Heels finished 41 shots behind Central Regional champion UCLA which won by 17 strokes at 875. The Tar Heels shot 916.

UNC’s top finisher was Katherine Perry, who tied for 15th place. Leslie Cloots was 66th, Elizabeth Mallett 73rd, Maria Schechter 87th and Jackie Chang 90th for the Tar Heels.

The Blue Devils turned in their second straight round of even-par 288 Saturday on the final day to conclude the 54-hole tournament with an 860. Vanderbilt closed out its wire-to-wire victory with a 14-under 274 on its way to a 24-under 840. South Carolina (854), Duke (860), N.C. State (860), Stanford (866), Virginia (869), Tulane (871) and Campbell (879) were the remaining teams advancing to the championship.

“The wind kicked up again and made it interesting,” said Duke head coach Dan Brooks. “We didn’t play all that great coming in. We had some good things going in the early part of the round and just faltered a little bit toward the end. We are on our way to nationals and that is what matters.”

The NCAA Championship will take place May 20-23 at the Tulsa Golf & Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. The Blue Devils will head back to Tulsa for the first time since Duke won the NCAA Championship back in 1999,which was the first of five NCAA titles.

“It is in my mind a little bit, but mostly we are just going to go play a national championship,” commented Brooks about heading back to Tulsa. “It doesn’t really connect to something that happened 14 years ago. They have renovated the course so it is very different than the one we played on. We are very excited to get out there. We need to put a good week of work in and we will be ready to go.”

Duke was paced throughout the three days of completion by freshman Sandy Choi, who carded a career-best 54-hole total of 212, which tied for seventh. She notched rounds of 72, 68 and 72, which doubled her season total of even or under par rounds. Choi notched her second straight top 10 finish as she placed fourth overall in the ACC Championship.

Vanderbilt’s Jenny Hahn collected the individual title with a nine-under-par, 207, as she turned in a six-under-par, 66, in the final round.

Entering the final day tied for second overall, sophomore Celine Boutier couldn’t get it going in Saturday’s final round as she turned in a 5-over 77. It was a tournament where she just couldn’t get putts to drop as she tied 24th with a 217.

Turning in Duke’s best round of the day was senior Alejandra Cangrejo at 2-under 70. Cangrejo finished the weekend tied for 24th with a 217.

“I was particularly happy for Alejandra,” said Brooks. “She had started to falter towards the end of some rounds, but she was able to birdie that last hole with three great shots – her two nice shots coming in and a nice putt there. I think that is the beginning of some good stuff for her.”

Senior Laetitia Beck closed her final regional with rounds of 75, 72 and 75 for a 222, which tied for 47th.

A day after shooting the worst round of her collegiate career, Yu Liu turned in a 1-under 71 and tied for 89th at 228.