KirkwoodGolf: Duke, Stanford, UCLA, Washington in last four

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Duke, Stanford, UCLA, Washington in last four

Duke Upsets Southern California 4-1, Advances to NCAA Semi-finals


EUGENE, Oregon
For the second straight year, the Duke University women’s golf team has a date in the NCAA Championship semi-finals of match play as the sixth-seeded Blue Devils upset third-seeded Southern California, 4-1, at the Eugene Country Club this morning (US time) and will face second-seeded and reigning NCAA champion Stanfords this afternoon

Duke reached the semi-finals a year ago in the first year of match play, before falling to Baylor, 3-2. 

The Blue Devils needed to come from behind this morning as Duke lost the first hole, which was the 370-yard, par four 10th, in four of the five matches.  Duke started to make a run late on the front nine as the birdie putts started to drop. 

Leona Maguire, who was not feeling well when she woke up this morning, neverthless played but went three-down through five holes and just couldn’t get any putts to fall.  She ended up dropping a 4 and 2  decision to Karen Chung of Southern California to give the Trojans a 1-0 lead.

Junior Sandy Choi was able to even the match, 1-1, as she rolled in a six-foot birdie putt on No. 8 to close with a 2 and 1 win over Kyung Kim.  Choi also had to battle back, after falling one -down through two holes as Kim sank a birdie putt on No. 11.  With a par on No. 12, Choi evened the match at all square.  
It would stay that way for the next three holes, until Choi drained a short birdie on the par five 15th to go up for good.  Choi had another birdie on No. 1 to move to two up, but Kim responded with a birdie putt of her own on No. 2.  Kim won hole six and then Choi won seven to move the match to dormie heading to No. 8.  Choi sank another birdie putt to win 2 and 1. 

Duke was looking strong with three groups remaining on the course and the Blue Devils were 2-up in all three. 

Sophomore Gurbani Singh, starting at the 10th,  rolled in birdies on No. 12, No. 14, No. 18 and No. 2 as she went 4-up with eight holes remaining.  Singh finally closed the match with a par on No. 8 to win 2 and 1 and gave Duke a 2-1 lead.

Seconds after Singh’s victory, freshman Virginia Elena Carta closed her match with Tiffany Chan, 2 and 1, to clinch the win for 
the Blue Devils.  Carta was two down on the fifth tee. start going 2-down through four holes. 


After struggling during the stroke play portion of the NCAA Championship, senior Celine Boutier regrouped and played her best golf of the week in beating Gabriella Then. The Parisienne was two up with three to play when the match was called in because Duke had a winning margin overall.