The Duke Blue Devils recently made history at the Bridgestone Golf Collegiate at Grandover Resort in Greensboro, NC. Duke pulled out a 21-under-par second round, the best round in school history, finishing four strokes ahead of Iowa State to capture the title.
The victory was Duke’s first in their last seven events, dating back to April’s triumph at the Princeton Invitational. The team fired just two rounds over par, compared to three rounds of 5-under-par or better. It also marked Duke’s 16th win under the direction of head coach, Jamie Green, extending his hold on third place on the program’s coaching wins chart.
“It’s not always easy to play with a lead,” Green said. “When you’re the chased instead of the chaser, it can be a little different frame of mind despite how hard you try to prevent that. Our guys did a really good job of having a game plan. They were really consistent with their attention to detail. They did a terrific job of playing intelligently and athletically. We’re excited to finish the fall season with a win and drive back to Durham with a trophy.”
Sophomore Alex Smalley and freshman Chandler Eaton both tied for fourth on the individual leader board with totals of 208 (-8). Smalley was the low man for Duke, shooting two-under 70 to notch his second top-five finish of the season. The Wake Forest, N.C., native finished the round with a strong push, birdying two of his final four holes on the day. “Alex did a fantastic job of being clear-minded and staying on task,” Green said. “He hit some clutch golf shots down the stretch to get to two-under par. That was a big score for us.”
Eaton’s performance was the third top-five showing in his first five collegiate tournaments. The Alpharetta, Ga., native’s 208 (-8) effort at Grandover represented the second-best 54-hole output by a freshman in program history in relation to both score and par.
“Chandler was feeling really good and posted some really good numbers,” Green said. “He played really solid golf and we’re so proud of him for staying poised and collected down the stretch. We needed his score to win this tournament.” With its fall season at an end, Duke will return to the course in late February when it heads to Los Cabos, Mexico, for the Quernecia Cabo Collegiate.