KirkwoodGolf: Duke WGOLF: Blue Devils Set for NCAA Championship May 19-24

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Duke WGOLF: Blue Devils Set for NCAA Championship May 19-24

May 16, 2017 12:42 PM
Duke golfer's first goal is an NCAA championship
By Chip Alexander
Leona Maguire of Duke is the top-ranked women's amateur golfer in the world but is hardly satisfied.
Maguire wants a national championship for the Blue Devils.
She wants a Duke degree.
That done, she wants a long and successful career on the LPGA Tour.
There was a time last fall when it appeared Maguire might skip the first two and leave Duke early to play professional golf. Many believed she was ready for it, that the native of Cavan County, Ireland, had the game, the drive and the temperament.
But as Maguire put it, "It felt like we had some unfinished business here."
One piece of business was an ACC championship. Virginia had won ACC titles in Maguire's first two years at Duke, but the Blue Devils won by nine shots over Florida State last month at The Reserve Golf Club in Pawley's Island, S.C.
"That was a big thing to check off the list," Maguire said.
Maguire, the 2015 national college player of the year, led the way by taking ACC medalist honors for the second time in three years. With three individual wins and nine top-10 finishes, the junior also was named ACC player of the year for a second time.
The Blue Devils did not win the NCAA regional last week in Albuquerque, N.M., but played well in tough, gusty conditions. After finishing second to top-ranked Stanford in the regional, they like their chances when the 2017 NCAA Championship begins this week at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.
"I feel very good about our team, especially after our last two rounds at Albuquerque," said Duke coach Dan Brooks, who has led the Blue Devils to six NCAA titles. "Some teams would have quivered. Our team never quivered."
The top six teams in each regional advance to nationals, and the Blue Devils were tied for sixth after the first day and fourth after two rounds. Duke needed a solid finishing round and got it – an even-par 288 total that was the day's low score.
"That told me a lot about this team," Brooks said. "They stayed strong."
Duke's Leona Maguire, the 2017 ACC women's golfer of the year, offers up some fun facts May 12, 2017, on teammates Virginia Elena Carta, Ana Belac, Sandy Choi, sister Lisa and herself as the Blue Devils prepared for the 2017 NCAA Championship.
Chip Alexander
Maguire did her part in the final round with a 1-under 71. Senior Sandy Choi struggled with an 81, but the Blue Devils' fourth counter among the five players would be Lisa Maguire with a 73.
Lisa Maguire is Leona's twin sister. While not identical twins, the two easily could be mistaken for each other, and especially so last summer when they were dressed in matching golf outfits in a unique tournament – at the Olympics in Rio.
Leona Maguire was selected to represent Ireland in the 2016 Summer Games and tied for low amateur in the first Olympic golf competition since 1904.
"It was unbelievable," she said of the Olympic experience. "It's the biggest sporting event in the world, and to be a part of that was special, considering golf was back in the Games after such a long time."
Lisa Maguire caddied for her sister, and Leona laughed when asked if the two were tempted to slyly switch places on a hole, at least in a practice round, with Lisa hitting a few shots and Leona carrying the bag.
"I think she would have liked that," Leona said.
Leona Maguire had announced her intentions to turn professional and off to the LPGA Qualifying Tournament she went. She made it through the second stage of the Q-School, finishing sixth, when she had a change of heart and announced she would stay at Duke.
Maguire, 22, talked with her family, her sister. She talked with Brooks. She talked with Kevin White, Duke's athletic director.
Maguire considered how the Blue Devils had played in the East Lake Cup in early November in Atlanta. In a match-play format like the one used to determine the NCAA championship, Duke beat UCLA and then Washington, the 2016 NCAA winner.
"We came together as a team at East Lake, and I think that meant a lot to her," Brooks said. "She loves the team aspect, and I think she said to herself, 'Hey, man, this could be really special and I do not want to walk away from it.'"
Or leave her sister. The two, whose parents are schoolteachers, grew up playing golf at Slieve Russell Golf Club in Ballyconnell, a small town that is walking distance from the border with Northern Ireland.
Both were big junior stars, playing together for Great Britain and Ireland in the 2010 Curtis Cup. They could have picked different schools to play college golf but didn't, deciding the blend of academics and golf at Duke was what they wanted.
Lisa Maguire has had her ups and downs at Duke – "She's got a lot of game, too," Brooks said – and has been revamping her swing.
"She struggles with it, but she's a happy kid who like Leona sees the big picture," Brooks said. "She wants to go on and play (professionally) but it does not have to happen at the same pace."
Duke has fallen short in the NCAA Championship the past two years, losing each time in the semifinals of match play. In 2015, Leona and Lisa each lost grueling matches against Baylor – Lisa's lasting 24 holes – as the Blue Devils were upset 3-2. A year ago, Leona's 1-up loss to Casey Danielson of Stanford was the difference in another 3-2 loss.
"That left a bad taste in our mouths," Leona Maguire said.
Duke's Virginia Elana Carta won the NCAA individual title as a freshman last year, but the Blue Devils are after more.
"We'd like to go a step further and be coming home with a different color trophy this year," Maguire said.
Maguire plans to remain at Duke through graduation next year. A psychology major, she said she's as proud of her 3.93 grade-point average as her impressive 70.0 stroke average this year on the golf course.
"I pride myself on, if I do something, I do it to the best of my ability, and probably leaving early would have meant not doing that," Maguire said. "It was an important thing, that I finish up here the best that I could and be as best-prepared for going on the LPGA Tour when the time comes."
Brooks said there are no big weaknesses in Leona's game, although she stressed she can be a better putter – a common golfer's refrain.
"She's had a great year," Brooks said. "She's maintained that No. 1 amateur spot, won tournaments, and she keeps getting better, keeps improving. She's as driven as they come."
Golf accolades for Duke's Leona Maguire
2017, No. 1 in World Amateur Golf Rankings
2015, consensus national player of the year
2017, 2015, ACC player of the year
2015, 2016, 2017, All-ACC selection
2016, Rio Olympics golf, represented Ireland, low amateur
2016, Women's British Open, low amateur
2017, College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District III Women's At-Large Team
2016, 2015, Women's Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar
2012, 2010, Curtis Cup team, Great Britain & Ireland

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2017 NCAA Championship
May 19-24, 2017
Sugar Grove, Ill.  •  Rich Harvest Farm
72-Holes  Followed by Match Play
        In search of its seventh NCAA Championship, the seventh-ranked Duke women's golf team will hit the road for Sugar Grove, Ill., for the 2017 NCAA Championship May 19-24 at the 6,343/6,261-yard, par 72 Rich Harvest Farm. 
        Participating in the championship will be -- Stanford, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Southern California, Arizona State, Duke, Furman, South Carolina, Northwestern, Miami, Kent State, Texas, Baylor, California, Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan, Texas Tech, Pepperdine, North Carolina, Clemson, Oregon and Michigan State. 
        Duke will tee off Friday, May 19 at 2:06 p.m. (ET) in the first round off No. 1, followed by a 9:36 a.m., tee time Saturday, May 20 off the 10th tee box.
        For the third straight year, the championship will feature a different look as there will be 54 holes of stroke play qualifying and then the top 15 teams and nine individuals (not on advancing teams) will play a final 18 holes to determine the individual champion and the top eight teams will advance to match play.  On May 23 there will be 36 holes of match play and then the match play championship will take place May 24.
        Fans can follow the action with live scoring via and via The Golf Channel.
        The Golf Channel will feature extensive coverage of the championship beginning Monday, May 22. Here is a full listing of the coverage --
Monday, May 22 -    3:00-4:00 PM:  Pre-game coverage
                                4:00-7:00 PM:  Live coverage
                                7:00-8:00 PM:  Post-game coverage
Tuesday, May 23 - 9:30-10:30 AM:  Pre-game coverage
                                10:30-12:30 PM:  Live coverage quarterfinals, team match play
                                12:30-1:30 PM:  Post-game coverage
                                3:00-3:30 PM:  Pre-game coverage of semifinals, team match play
                                3:30-7:00 PM:  Live coverage of match play semifinals
                                7:00-8:00 PM:  Post-game coverage
Wednesday, May 24-              1:00-3:00 PM:  Pre-game coverage
                                3:00-7:00 PM:  Live coverage of match play championship
                                7:00-8:00 PM:  Postgame coverage
        The Duke women's golf team will begin its quest for its seventh NCAA Championship this week in Sugar Grove, Ill.  The Blue Devils won their first title in 1999, a second in 2002, third in 2005, fourth in 2006, fifth in 2007 and sixth in 2014.  Duke became only the second team along with Arizona State to win three straight national titles (1995-97). 
        Virada Nirapathpongporn (2002), Candy Hannemann (2003), Anna Grzebien (2005) and Virginia Elena Carta (2016) each have won individual titles. The Blue Devils became only the third squad in NCAA history to post the individual champion in two straight years in 2001 and 2002.
        •  In the last 15 appearances at the NCAA Championship, Duke has placed in the top 10 in 14 of those.  The only exception was a 15th place ledger in 2012.
        •  Leona Maguire is in the running for the ANNIKA Award as the National Player of the Year.
        •  As a team, Duke has won three tournaments this season and has finished in the top five eight times.  The Blue Devils also won two other match play contests against Northwestern (7-5) and Florida State (4-1).
        •  Duke has registered eight total eagles in 2016-17, while the Blue Devils had only six a year ago.
        •  Virginia Elena Carta owns a 71.38 stroke average in the second round this season, which is the second-best on the squad.
        •  Out of 85 career rounds played at Duke, Leona Maguire has counted 84.5 of those rounds.
        •  The Blue Devils are listed seventh in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.  In the latest Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, Leona Maguire is listed No. 1, while Ana Belac (55), Gurbani Singh (59), Virginia Elena Carta (63), Sandy Choi (74) and are ranked.             
        •  Head coach Dan Brooks has collected at least one team victory in 32 of his 33 years at Duke, including three in 2016-17.
        Duke junior Leona Maguire is having one of the best seasons in Duke and NCAA history totaling a 70.00 stroke average.  The stroke average is the lowest in ACC and NCAA history.
        She is currently No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings and the Golfweek Individual rankings.  Maguire has also registered three victories and nine top 10 finishes in nine tournaments. 
NCAA Single-Season Scoring Average
1. 70.00   Leona Maguire, Duke (2016-17)
2. 70.04  Cheyenne Knight, Alabama (2016-17)
3. 70.39  Jennifer Kupcho, Wake Forest (2016-17)
4. 70.65  Dewi Weber, Miami (2015-16)
5. 70.78  Leona Maguire, Duke (2014-15)
6. 70.87  Maddie Szeryk, Texas A&M (2016-17)
7. 70.96  Lauren Stephenson, Alabama (2016-17)
        Head coach Dan Brooks will have three former Duke assistant coaches on the course in Sugar Grove, Ill., for the NCAA Championship -- Kalen Anderson (South Carolina head coach), Emily Bastel Glaser (Florida head coach) and Jan Dowling (Michigan head coach).
        Anderson was an assistant coach with the Blue Devils in 2006-07.  She was also a three-time All-ACC selection and four-year letterwinner at Duke from 1998-2001.
        Bastel was an assistant coach for Duke in 2009-10 and has been the head coach at Florida since 2012. 
        Dowling was an assistant for the Blue Devils in 2008-09 and has been the head coach at Michigan from 2013-present.
        Duke will send one senior (Sandy Choi), two juniors (Leona Maguire and Lisa Maguire),  one sophomore (Virginia Elena Carta) and one freshman (Ana Belac) to the NCAA Championship.
        In her first appearance in the NCAA Championship, Choi carded rounds of 72, 71, 74 and 69 to tie for 23rd with a six-over, 286, in 2015 she placed 58th with rounds of 74, 81, 75 and 82 for a 312 and last season she tied for 36th with rounds of 78, 71, 71 and 72 for a four-over, 227. 
        Leona Maguire was tied second as a freshman in 2015 with rounds of 71, 74, 73 and 68 for a 286.  She had a birdie putt on her final hole to move into a tie but it just came up short.  As a sophomore, she placed tied 32nd as she dealt with an illness during the entire event.  Maguire totaled rounds of 72, 70, 71 and 78 for a 291. 
        Carta is coming off winning the NCAA Individual title a year ago in record fashion shooting rounds of 69, 68, 66 and 69 for a 16-under-par, 272. 
        Lisa Maguire will appear in her second NCAA Championship, after finishing 83rd as a rookie in 2014-15.  
        In the NCAA stats, Leona Maguire and the Blue Devils rank in numerous categories (information provided by --
Leona Maguire
        Par 3 Scoring:  2.99 (T2nd)
        Par 4 Scoring:  3.96 (T1st)
        Par 5 Scoring:  4.69 (T7)
        Greens in Regulation:  77.3 (4th)
        Average Putts:  30.32 (7th)
        Putts on Greens in Regulation:  1.776 (1st)
        Short Game Percentage:  61.6 (1st)
Virginia Elena Carta
        Greens in Regulation:  78.9 (2nd)
Lisa Maguire
        Average Putts:  30.68 (20th)
        Sand Saves:  48.6 (8th)
Ana Belac
        Short Game Percentage:  57.5 (11th)
Sandy Choi
        Fairways Hit:  89.3 (7th)
As a team, Duke ranks--
Fairways Hit:  .818 (2nd)
Greens in Regulation:  .691 (3rd)
Par Three Scoring:  3.09 (3rd)
Pars Per Round:  11.71 (3rd)
Greens in Regulation (<15ft):  .330 (1st)
Putts in Green:  1.864 (3rd)
Putting Par:  1.02 (2nd)
Par Three Greens in Regulation:  .701 (1st)
        Duke is making the program's 29th trip to the NCAA  Championship, including its 19th out of the last 20 years.  The Blue Devils snapped a streak of 13-straight appearances in 2011 by finishing ninth at the NCAA Central Regional. Of the previous 27 NCAA Championship appearances for the Blue Devils, Duke has finished in the top 10 on 20 different occasions. The Blue Devils won the championship in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2014 and have registered top-five finishes in 1988 (5th), 1994 (4th), 1998 (4th), 2001 (2nd), 2004 (3rd), 2008 (3rd), 2013 (2nd), 2015 (2nd) and 2016 (6th).
        Duke owns the tied for second-most top five finishes in the NCAA Championship since 2004 as the Blue Devils have totaled eight.  The Blue Devils and Stanford are the only two teams to advance to the semifinals of match play both times since the tournament moved into that direction in 2015. 
Top Five Finishes Since 2004
1.     Southern California    11
2.     Duke                                8
        UCLA                             8
4.     Arizona State                6
5.     Purdue                           5
        In the Duke season record book, Leona Maguire currently ranks No. 1 in stroke average (70.00), tied seventh in even or under par rounds (19), tied eighth in wins (3) and tied 10th in top five finishes (7). 
        In the Duke career record books, Maguire has moved into tied third in wins (7), tied sixth in top five finishes (18), sixth in top 10 finishes (25), third in even or under par rounds (60), fifth in tournaments as Duke's top scorer (20), first in career scoring average (71.05), third in rounds in the 60s (22) and tied fourth in eagles (7).
        Rookie Ana Belac is seventh on the Duke freshman record charts with a 73.12 stroke average. 
        Senior Sandy Choi is tied sixth on the Blue Devil career charts with six eagles. 
        In six stroke play tournaments this spring, the Blue Devils have finished no lower than third, while taking home two wins.  Over the last five tournaments, Duke has placed either first or second.
        Since deciding to stay in school and not turn professional, Leona Maguire has played in six tournaments and totaled a 70.28 stroke average.  In those tournaments, she has finished first three times to go along with a second place and two tied for sixth finishes.  Maguire has six rounds in the 60s out of 15. 
        Virginia Elena Carta had one of the most impressive NCAA Tournament runs in the history of the tournament a year ago cruising to the NCAA individual title with a NCAA-record 16-under-par 72-hole ledger.  Her eight-shot margin was the largest dating back to 2000, became the first freshman to win her first collegiate tournament at NCAAs since 1998 and was the eighth freshman to win the NCAA individual title. 
        Carta totaled rounds of 69, 68, 66 and 69 over the four days of action.   The win remains Carta's lone victory over her two years at Duke. 
        Carta went on to finish as the runner-up at the U.S. Women's Amateur over the summer as she dropped a 1-up decision to Eun Jeong Seong at the Rolling Green Golf Club in Springfield, Pa.
        Duke alumna Amanda Blumenherst will join the Golf Channel broadcast team for the NCAA Championship for the second straight year.  
        One of the most decorated women's collegiate athletes in history, Blumenherst was a three-time National Player of the Year (2006-08) and four-time NCAA All-America (2006-09).  She led the Blue Devils to three ACC championships and two NCAA Team Championships in 2006 and 2007.
        After totaling a 75.29 stroke average in three events in the fall, Duke freshman Ana Belac has been one of the Blue Devils most consistent golfers in the spring holding a 72.28 stroke average. 
        In the spring, Belac has notched three top 10 finishes and two other top 14 placements, while finishing tied for 22nd at the LSU Tiger Golf Classic. 
        Belac is coming off notching rounds of 73, 71 and 70 for a two-under-par, 214, to finish in a tie for fourth at the NCAA Albuquerque Regional.  It marked her first collegiate top five finish and helped Duke to a second place ledger in the regional. 
        She owns 11 rounds of even or under par over 18 in the spring. 
        For the 20th time in school history, Duke won an ACC Championship as the Blue Devils turned in a five-under-par 54-hole ledger of 859 to win by nine strokes at the 6,192-yard, par 72 The Reserve Golf Club in Pawleys Island, S.C.  Duke junior Leona Maguire claimed individual medalist honors for the second time over the last three years as she carded a six-under-par, 210, to win by two strokes. 
        As a team, Duke registered rounds of 284, 286 and 289 over three days for an 859 ledger, which was nine strokes better than Florida State (868). 
        The Blue Devils won the ACC Championship for the 19th time under head coach Dan Brooks and the 20th time overall.  It also marked the 16th time Duke has swept both the team and individual titles.  The championship is the first for the Blue Devils since the 2014 campaign and the second for lone senior Sandy Choi
        Duke featured a nine-stroke advantage heading into the final round, but the Blue Devils struggled during holes four through nine on the front nine to drop back into a tie for first at one-over-par with Florida State.  The Blue Devils responded in a big way with collecting 11 back nine birdies on their way to closing out the victory. 
        All five Blue Devils finished in the top 17 of the individual listing – Choi (T4), Ana Belac (T14), Virginia Elena Carta (T17) and Gurbani Singh (T17). 
        Maguire, a product of Cavan, Ireland, entered the final round tied for the individual lead, but shot a two-under-par, 70, Saturday to win by two strokes over Wake Forest's Jennifer Kupcho (212).  The win for Maguire was her third victory of the season and seventh of her career, which ranks tied for third-most in school history.  She joins only Amanda Blumenherst (3), Brittany Lang (2) and Jenny Chuasiriporn (2) as multiple ACC individual medalists from the Blue Devils. 
        Over the three days, Maguire carded rounds of 68, 72 and 70 for a six-under-par, 210. 
        Duke features a very international flare to its 2016-17 roster with one golfer from Slovenia (Ana Belac), South Korea (Sandy Choi), Italy (Virginia Elena Carta) and India (Gurbani Singh), while two from Ireland (Lisa & Leona Maguire). 
        Junior Leona Maguire owns a NCAA-best 70.00 stroke average to go along with three victories, seven top five placements and nine top 20 finishes.  She missed the Tar Heel Invitational as she competed in LPGA Qualifying.
        Senior Sandy Choi owns a 73.52 stroke average on the season and featured her best finish of the year at the ACC Championship with a tied for fourth placement.  She owns three top five finishes and four top 20 placements. 
        Sophomore Virginia Elena Carta enters NCAA Championship play with three straight top 20 finishes and a 72.56 stroke average on the year.  The reigning NCAA Individual Champion has turned in six top 20 finishes on the season. 
        Junior Lisa Maguire has seen action in eight tournaments this season collecting a 77.68 stroke average.
        Entering her first championship, freshman Ana Belac is playing her best golf of the season.  She has a 73.12 stroke average to go along with three top 10 and five top 20 finishes.  In six tournaments in the spring, Belac has placed in the top 10 three times and the top 22 in all six. 
        Blue Devil head coach Dan Brooks became the all-time winningest women's golf coach in NCAA Division I history in the fall of 2005 as he won his 92nd career tournament title at the Stanford Pepsi Intercollegiate Oct. 23, 2005.  Brooks passed Mark Gale of San Jose State who won 91 career tournaments from 1978-96.
        Brooks now has 128 career tournament wins over his 33 seasons.  He has guided Duke to at least one victory in 32 of his 33 years.
        For the first time in school history, Duke features a set of twins with the junior tandem of Leona and Lisa Maguire.  The duo is from Cavan, Ireland and have both competed in an incredible amount of international competition. 
        The Maguire twins combined to win 36 amateur events over their careers and have both played in the Curtis Cup. 
        Dan Brooks is in his 33rd season as the head coach of the Blue Devils. The 1981 graduate of Oregon State has led Duke to 25 straight NCAA Regional selections and to the NCAA Championships 22 of the last 24 years.  Brooks owns the school's six National Championships in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2014.
        Brooks' teams have finished with a top-20 ranking 30 times (looking for the 31st this season), while 20 of his squads have earned a top-10 finish in a NCAA Tournament-- 1987 (T7th), 1988  (5th),  1994 (4th), 1996 (7th), 1998 (4th), 1999 (1st), 2001 (2nd), 2002 (1st), 2003 (10th), 2004 (3rd), 2005 (1st), 2006 (1st), 2007 (1st), 2008 (3rd), 2009 (6th), 2010 (T8th), 2013 (2nd), 2014 (1st), 2015 (semis) and 2016 (semis).
        In 33 years, his teams have won 128 tournaments, which is a NCAA record for women's golf. He was named the 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2012, 2013 and 2014 ACC Coach of the Year for his efforts and 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2014 National Coach of the Year. Duke has collected 19 ACC Championships during Brooks' term with the program.
        Duke will add three standout golfers to the mix in 2017-18 with the additions of Hannah O'Sullivan, Miranda Wang and Jaravee Boonchant
        O'Sullivan, a product of Chadler, Ariz., is the No. 2 ranked amateur golfer in the world. She will step on Duke's campus with a very impressive resume that includes wins at the 2015 U.S. Women's Amateur Championship and 2015 LPGA Symetra Tour Gateway Classic.
        A May 2016 graduate of Hamilton High School, O'Sullivan is a four-time AJGA Rolex Junior All-America and was the 2015 Rolex Junior Player of the Year.  She became the youngest person in history to win on the LPGA Symetra Tour by medaling at the 2015 LPGA Symetra Tour Gateway Classic at 16 years, nine months and 11 days old.  She won the 2015 Rolex Tournament of Champions and the 2015 Rolex Girls Junior Championship, becoming only the third person in history to win both AJGA Rolex major championships in the same year. 
        At the Portland Golf Club in Oregon, O'Sullivan won the 2015 U.S. Women's Amateur defeating Sierra Brooks in the championship match, 3&2.  The year before, O'Sullivan was a semifinalist at the U.S. Women's Amateur. 
        Boonchant, a product of Bangkok, Thailand, attends IMG Academy in Florida where she has excelled on the course and in the classroom.  Playing on the AJGA, she won the 2016 ANNIKA Invitational with rounds of 75, 70 and 65 for a three-day ledger of 210, while also finishing in the top 20 of the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior (T3), Rolex Girls Junior Championship (4), Thunderbird International Junior (16) and The PING Invitational (19). 
        A 2016 First Team Rolex Junior All-America and 2015 honorable mention selection, Boonchant was a 2013 and 2015 IMG Academy Player of the Year.  She tallied six top-10 finishes in 2015 on the AJGA, including three fourth place tallies – Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Junior, IMG Academy Junior World Championship and The PING Invitational.  Over the last three years, Boonchant has registered seven rounds in the 60s. 
        Wang graduated high school in December of 2016 and enrolled at Duke in the winter of 2017 for the second semester.  She redshirted the past semester to get adjusted to school and will be eligible to play in the fall of 2017 with the Blue Devils.
        Wang registered two victories in 2016, while playing on the AJGA.  She totaled rounds of 71, 74 and 71 for a 216 to claim medalist honors at the AJGA Reno/Tahoe Junior and then won the Yani Tseng Invitational with rounds of 70, 68 and 68 for a 206 in back-to-back outings.  A product of Beijing, China, Wang graduated from Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton, Calif.
        In six events in 2016, Wang finished no lower than 21st, while also notching a tied fifth placement at The PING Invitational.  Wang collected six top-12 finishes in 2015 on the AJGA, including back-to-back second place outings at the Bishops Gate Golf Academy Junior and the AJGA Junior at Yolo Fliers.  She was a 2016 First Team Rolex Junior All-America and 2015 honorable mention selection.
        The Duke women's golf team will begin its quest for its seventh NCAA Championship this week in Albuquerque, N.M.  The Blue Devils won their first title in 1999, a second in 2002, third in 2005, fourth in 2006, fifth in 2007 and sixth in 2014.  Duke became only the second team along with Arizona State to win three straight national titles (1995-97). 
        Virada Nirapathpongporn (2002), Candy Hannemann (2003), Anna Grzebien (2005) and Virginia Elena Carta (2016) each have won individual titles.