Duke women’s golf heads into backstretch of NCAA tournament


Oct 19, 2013; Charlottesville, VA, USA; The Duke Blue Devils mascot cheers from the sidelines against the Virginia Cavaliers in the third quarter at Scott Stadium. The Blue Devils won 35-22. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Duke women’s golf team is going into day three of the NCAA Championships sitting in second place. The team’s performance yielded a five-over-par day on the 6,174 yard, par 70 course at the Tulsa Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.

There are two days left in the tournament. Duke is trailing Oklahoma (575) by three strokes.

“The wind was a little bit less severe, same direction,” said Duke head coach Dan Brooks during the round on Wednesday. “We got to play the front side first. We were very patient. I was proud of my team. They handled things really well. It was gustier today, so you had to do more thinking on your par-three shots. I’m really proud of what we did today.”

Five Blue Devils are participating in the tournament. Sophomore Celine Boutier, freshman Sandy Choi, senior Laetitia Beck, senior Alejandra Cangrejo, and freshman Yu Liu are vying for Duke’s sixth national championship. With the conditions as windy as they have been the past few days, it won’t be easy.

“There are some tough holes, particularly on the front side,” said Brooks. “It’s just a great golf course. With the conditions, it’s all championship-type stuff. I try not to dissect the course. I try to get my team to see it as one shot at a time. There aren’t hard holes. There aren’t easy holes. It’s just one shot at a time.”

Boutier is tied for fifth in the tournament, shooting even-par, 70, on both days of the tournament thus far.

“I thought I played pretty well throughout the course,” said Boutier. “My putting was really good [Wednesday], so that definitely helped me. I made a lot of birdies, I think I had five of them. That’s pretty good with the conditions. [Wednesday] was a pretty good day for me.”

Choi isn’t far behind Boutier as she is tied for 14th with a one-over-par performance so far.

“My round was pretty satisfying [on Wednesday],” said Choi. “I ended up with a better score than [Tuesday]. I didn’t hit that many fairways or greens today, but I was able to score well because of my putting. “

Beck heads into the third day of competition tied for 43rd. Cangrejo and Liu are sitting at 67th.

Duke is set to tee off at 12:55 off of hole No. 1 for the third round of the tournament.

“One thing you have at nationals is a lot of time before you tee off, because there are a lot of teams in this tournament,” said Brooks. “We have a lot of time to wait [Thursday].”

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