Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Another solid day by Leona Maguire (68) as

 Duke earn No 2 seeding for NCAA match-play

A very solid finish by the Blue Devils positioned the team as the No 2 seed heading in to the match-play stages of the NCAA Championship at Bradenton, Florida.

The Duke women’s golf team didn’t have its best score of the season in Monday’s final stroke-play round but the Blue Devils featured eight key birdies down the stretch to place second overall heading into match play over the testing 6,468-yard, par 72 Concession Golf Club course
The Blue Devils struggled from the start and were a collective 19-over-par for the day at one point before the comeback.  Duke was looking like the No. 4 seed overall in match play before freshman Gurbani Singh birdied four out of the last six holes, Celine Boutier rolled in a birdie on No. 17 and Leona Maguire, pictured above, carded her fourth birdie of the day on No. 18 for a four-under-par round of 68.
“I think this is probably the toughest golf course we've played all season,” said Maguire.  “It definitely helps the more you get used to it, the more you know, the bounce of the balls, the spots to be, the spots not to be.  It definitely helps.
" I felt more comfortable as the day went on.  I knew where I needed to hit it and the spots to miss,  I just played pretty solid, didn't make a whole lot of mistakes, which was nice."
Duke turned in rounds of 293, 309, 292 and 303 over the four days for an aggregate of 1,197, which was 45-over-par.  Southern California finished first by five strokes with a 1,192.  Rounding out the top eight teams advancing to match play were Baylor (1,198), Stanford (1,199), Arizona (1,205), Tennessee (1,212), Texas Tech (1,212) and Washington (1,214).
Duke  will face seventh-seeded Texas Tech, which carded rounds of 319, 294, 307 and 292 to finish with a 60-over-par, 1,212.  The pairings for match play will feature
Lisa Maguire v Texas Tech’s Sarah Brown, Singh against Lauren Mason, Sandy Choi versus Stephanie Bertelsen, Leona Maguire against Gabby Barker and Celine Boutier taking on Kimmy Hill.
“We're excited [about match play],” commented head coach Brooks.  “Match play was the way golf was originally developed back in Scotland.  There can't be anything wrong about it.  It's what golf is.  We're excited about it.”
 Leona Maguire held the individual lead early in the round, after chipping in for birdie on No. 2 and rolling in her second eagle of the season on the 511-yard, par five third hole.  A native of Cavan, Ireland, Maguire posted another birdie on No. 7 to get to four-under for the day and two-under for the tournament.  She made the turn at four-under-par, 32, but opened the back nine with back-to-back bogeys on No. 10 and No. 11 to drop back to even par for the tournament.
 Maguire closed with birdies on No. 14 and No. 18 to finish with a four-under 68 for two-under 286, tied for second place individually, one shot behind NCAA individual champion Emma Talley of Alabama (285).
“Yeah, I'm incredibly happy with my round today,” said Leona.  “I got off to a pretty hot start, chipped in for birdie on two and had a nice eagle on three and then chipped in again on seven for birdie again.  It was a great start.  I knew I had to make up some ground on Emma [Talley].  She was getting away. 
" I had two bogeys on 10 and 11, then got it back coming down the stretch.  Emma is an unbelievable player, and to post that kind of score around a golf course like this is pretty good.”
Maguire placed tied second with a 72-hole score of two-under-par, 286, along with Arkansas’ Gaby Lopez.  With her two rounds of even or under par for the tournament, Maguire finished the regulation season with 24 even or under-par rounds to tie Amanda Blumenherst’s mark of 24 from the 2005-06 campaign.  Maguire finished the day hitting 12 greens, 11 fairways and a team-best 27 putts.
“Well, as we've all known on our team, Leona is the least high maintenance player we have,” commented Brooks.  “What that means is that she's like a lot of the best players that I've had.  I end up not watching them play that much.
"I'm out there with a lot of players that need a little help.  I spent a lot of time with Gurbani today on the back side and we got some good things going.  Her front side was not so good, so I didn't really get to watch much of Leona's play other than the little thing we do with Golfstat.
"But Leona's just tremendous.  I know what she's doing out there.  She's thinking really well.  She's sizing up the golf course and making smart decisions all round long, and that's how you get scores like that.  It's really good.
Boutier, who hails from Montrouge, France, couldn’t get her putter going most of the day as she left herself with numerous birdie chances, including an eagle opportunity on No. 17, but she finished with 33 putts.  She signed for a 77 on her way to placing tied 29th with a four-day score of 302.  Boutier played her final seven holes at even par though on the afternoon.
Both sophomore Sandy Choi and freshman Lisa Maguire struggled in the final round, turning in rounds of 82 and 83, respectively.  Lisa Maguire was 83rd with a 399.
“Yeah, it's exciting,” said Leona Maguire about match play Tuesday.  “The first year for team match play, I think the whole team is really looking forward to tomorrow.  Obviously having internationals on the team, we all have quite a bit of experience in match play, which is definitely going to play to our benefit tomorrow.  I think we've been all playing pretty solid, and we're looking forward to getting into match play tomorrow.”

1 Southern California, 2 Duke, 3 Baylor, 4 Stanford, 5 Arizona, 6 Tennessee, 7 Texas Tech, 8 Washington.
9 Arkansas, 10 Northwestern, 11 UC Davis, 12 Purdue, 13 Wake Forest, 14 Alabama, 15 UCLA
Southern California v Washington
Duke v Texas Tech
Baylor v Tennessee
Stanford v Arizona

Par 288 (4x72) Yardage: 6,468
285 Emma Talley (Alabama) 70 73 73 69
286 Gaby Lopez (Arizona) 70 76 74 66, Leona Maguire (Duke) 71 74 73 68.
296 Charlotte Thomas (Washington) 74 72 71 74 (T12)
299 Bronte Law (UCLA) 79 74 71 75 (T18)
300 Hayley Davis (Baylor) 77 73 78 72 (T21)
304 Meghan MacLaren (Florida International) 77 78 72 74 (T25)
339 Lisa Maguire (Duke) 89 85 82 83 (83rd)
342 Lauren Whyte (Baylor) 81 85 94 82 (84th)