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Duke Makes Run; Finishes Tied for Fourth
Tuesday 09/27/2009  -  Duke Sports Information
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Courtesy: Scott Miller
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Alison Whitaker

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - What a difference a few weeks make and some hard work on the course for the 10th-ranked Duke women's golf team.  Duke opened the 2009-10 campaign by finishing 10th at the NGCA Match Play Championship qualifying in 36 holes by shooting two straight rounds of 303, which was 30-over-par.  The Blue Devils came back over the weekend at the Mason Rudolph Women's Championship and fired an 11-under-par, 565, with back-to-back under par rounds at the 6,217-yard, par-72 Vanderbilt Legends Club.

As a team, Duke took the lead midway through Sunday's final round as the Blue Devils were 10-under-par at one point on the afternoon.  The Blue Devils concluded the tournament tied for fourth as four of the five Duke golfers turned in under par rounds to close out the weekend.  Duke posted a final round of six-under-par, 282, to go along with a first round of 283 to collect an 11-under-par, 565. 

"I am real excited with the way we finished," said Duke Head Coach Dan Brooks.  "Everybody had their shining moments and we got to see what everybody is capable of.  In think we are motivated to work on what we need to work on. We didn't come away with a win and I sensed the right amount of disappointment.  I feel like there is a lot of potential on the team and they all feel like we have some work to do.  That is right where we need to be."

Southern California won the Mason Rudolph Championship with a 16-under-par ledger of 560 with UCLA (562), Auburn (563), Arizona State (565), Duke (565), LSU (569), Alabama (570), Oklahoma State (571), Georgia (573) and Arizona (576) rounding out the top 10.

Duke placed three golfers in the top 15 of the final individual ledger as Kim Donovan and Stacey Kim were tied for 13th and Lindy Duncan was tied for tied for 15th.  Taking home the individual title was Southern California's Jennifer Song, who turned in a 12-under-par, 132.  Marina Alex of Vanderbilt, Sydnee Michaels of UCLA and Cydney Clanton were tied for second (135).

"Honestly, I  just really trusted it [her swing] more," said Donovan about what went well this week.  "I felt really comfortable with my swing as I have been doing a lot of work.  I have found things that I can do in a round without messing up my tempo.  It was really helpful to find little items that I can keep track of -- swing wise -- that were not horrendously difficult to maintain on a course in tournament conditions."

Donovan, a product of Hopkinton, Mass., closed out the best tournament of her career as she fired a 36-hole total of 140, which was four-under-par.  She had a first round of 71 followed by a 69 on Sunday that included three birdies and a hole-in-one.  A junior, Donovan notched two straight rounds of under par for the first time in her career, including a career-best 18-hole total of 69.  Her 36-hole total of 140 bested her previous total of 148 from her freshman and sophomore campaigns.

"She was just solid as a rock and that is the great thing about both days," commented Brooks.  "She hit everything right in the middle of the fairway and knocked it right near the pin.  If she had a few more putts fall it would have been really, really low.  She putted pretty well and I saw a couple of putts that didn't fall. She said it could have been a 65.  It was really good golf."

Opening her day with four consecutive pars, Donovan then notched her second career hole-in-one as she hit her seven-iron from 145 yards on the fifth hole.  She originally thought her tee shot went over the green but when she came up to the putting surface she saw it in the hole.  The hole-in-one got Donovan rolling as she went on to make birdies on No. 7, No. 10 and No. 14 to move to five-under-par.  On the 352-yard, 10th hole, she rolled in a 30-foot putt and on No. 14 she sank a 15-foot birdie. 

Donovan closed the day with back-to-back bogeys on the 15th and 16 holes and then pars on No. 17 and No. 18 to finish with a 69.  She hit 16 greens, 14 fairways and had 31 putts in her ninth career round of even or under par. 

"I couldn't be more proud of her," said Brooks.  "She has overcome a lot of swing changes, stuck with them and has been very coach able.  She is reaping some benefits and it is well deserved."

In only her second career tournament, Kim notched rounds of 69 and 71 for a four-under-par, 140, which was tied for 13th.  In her previous tournament, Kim had totaled back-to-back rounds of 79.  A native of Columbus, Ohio, Kim opened her morning with five straight pars before notching two consecutive birdies on the 7th and 8th holes.  On the back nine, she notched one birdie, two bogeys and six pars to finish with a 71.  On the day, Kim hit 14 fairways, 15 greens and had 31 putts.

"We were more relaxed in this tournament and that allowed our games to kind of reveal themselves," said Brooks.  "You have to be calm in this game and be relaxed.  They shined a little more in this tournament because they were more relaxed."

Duncan, a freshman from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., continued her solid play as she notched an even-par, 72, on Sunday to finish at three-under-par, 141, which was tied for 15th.  Out of four collegiate rounds, Duncan has been even or under par in three of those.  In the final round, she hit a team-best 17 greens, nine fairways and had 36 putts.  Duncan totaled two birdies, two bogeys and five pars on both the front and back nine to close out the tournament. 

Turning in her first under-par round since the NGCA Match Play Championship as a junior, Alison Whitaker placed tied for 30th with ledgers of 74 and 70 for a total of 144.  Her round of two-under-par, 70, on Sunday, included three birdies, one eagle and three bogeys to go along with 11 pars.  Whitaker, who is from Melbourne, Australia, registered an eagle on the 473-yard, par five seventh hole as she hit her second shot to from 217 yards out to within 15 feet and holed the putt.  On the day, Whitaker collected a team-best 29 putts, hit 13 fairways and 13 greens.

Freshman Courtney Ellenbogen had a two-under-par score through 10 holes on Sunday before suffering a bogey on No. 12 and a triple-bogey on the 13th.  A product of Blacksburg, Va., Ellenbogen settled down to notch five straight pars to finish off the day with a career-best 74.  She was tied for 76th overall with a 151.

As a team, Duke totaled 14 birdies and two eagles on Sunday in the final round.

"This gives us a lot [of confidence]," commented Donovan on the team's finish.  "We are really excited and the team is definitely pumped.  It is great to kind of be back in the winning circle -- being able to be in contention for the entire tournament and obviously took the lead at one point.  It is a great feeling.  Not to necessarily lose it, but it is great to know we are there again."

Duke will next compete in the Tar Heel Invitational from Oct. 9-11 at the Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, N.C.

-d-u-k-e-

Duke Results

T27 T13 Kimberly Donovan Duke 71 69 140 -4
T8 T13 Stacey Kim Duke 69 71 140 -4
T8 T15 Lindy Duncan Duke 69 72 141 -3
T57 T30 Alison Whitaker Duke 74 70 144 E
T79 T76 Courtney Ellenbogen Duke 77 74 151 +7

1 2 Team Scores
T1 1 Southern California 278 282 560 -16
6 2 UCLA 284 278 562 -14
T1 3 Auburn 278 285 563 -13
T3 T4 Arizona State 280 285 565 -11
5 T4 Duke 283 282 565 -11
T10 6 LSU 286 283 569 -7
T3 7 Alabama, U. of 280 290 570 -6
T7 8 Oklahoma State 285 286 571 -5
T7 9 Georgia 285 288 573 -3
T10 10 Arizona 286 290 576 E
T7 11 Vanderbilt 285 293 578 +2
T14 12 Virginia 292 287 579 +3
12 13 Stanford 287 293 580 +4
T14 14 Florida, U of 292 289 581 +5
13 15 Texas 290 294 584 +8
16 16 Tulane University 296 289 585 +9
17 17 South Carolina 300 296 596 +20


Start Finish Player Team Scores
T1 1 Jennifer Song Southern California 66 66 132 -12
T4 T2 Marina Alex Vanderbilt 68 67 135 -9
T15 T2 Sydnee Michaels UCLA 70 65 135 -9
3 T2 Cydney Clanton Auburn 67 68 135 -9
T4 5 Margarita Ramos Arizona 68 69 137 -7
T27 6 Victoria Park Oklahoma State 71 67 138 -6
T15 T7 Tessa Teachman LSU 70 69 139 -5
T8 T7 Emilie Burger Georgia 69 70 139 -5
T8 T7 Jennifer Johnson Arizona State 69 70 139 -5
T8 T7 Evan Jensen Florida, U of 69 70 139 -5
T1 T7 Candace Schepperle Auburn 66 73 139 -5
T4 T7 Camilla Lennarth Alabama, U. of 68 71 139 -5
T27 T13 Kimberly Donovan Duke 71 69 140 -4
T8 T13 Stacey Kim Duke 69 71 140 -4
T15 T15 Megan McChrystal LSU 70 71 141 -3
T15 T15 Juliana Murcia Arizona State 70 71 141 -3
T36 T15 Madison Pressel Texas 72 69 141 -3
T8 T15 Lindy Duncan Duke 69 72 141 -3
T27 T15 Brooke Pancake Alabama, U. of 71 70 141 -3
T27 T20 Caroline Hedwall Oklahoma State 71 71 142 -2
T27 T20 Brianna Do UCLA 71 71 142 -2
T8 T20 Stephanie Kono UCLA 69 73 142 -2
T36 T20 Linn Gustafsson Tulane University 72 70 142 -2
T8 T20 Katie Burnett South Carolina 69 73 142 -2
T15 T25 Carolina Andrade Georgia 70 73 143 -1
T4 T25 Isabelle Boineau Arizona 68 75 143 -1
T15 T25 Rebecca Durham Stanford 70 73 143 -1
T57 T25 Lizette Salas Southern California 74 69 143 -1
T57 T25 Janine Fellows Tulane University 74 69 143 -1
T76 T30 Jaqueline Hedwall LSU 76 68 144 E
T45 T30 Kendall Wright Georgia 73 71 144 E
T27 T30 Courtney McKim Oklahoma State 71 73 144 E
T57 T30 Glory Yang UCLA 74 70 144 E
T57 T30 Alison Whitaker Duke 74 70 144 E
T15 T30 Giulia Molinaro Arizona State 70 74 144 E
T36 T30 Haley Wilson Auburn 72 72 144 E
T15 T30 Caroline Kim Southern California 70 74 144 E
T15 T30 In-Ah Park Southern California 70 74 144 E
T45 T30 Shannon Fish * Texas 73 71 144 E
T36 T40 Alejandra Llaneza Arizona 72 73 145 +1
T15 T40 Angela King Stanford 70 75 145 +1
T72 T40 Jaclyn Sweeney Arizona State 75 70 145 +1
T27 T40 Carlota Ciganda Arizona State 71 74 145 +1
T45 T40 Nicole Vandermade Texas 73 72 145 +1
T45 T40 Andrea Watts Florida, U of 73 72 145 +1
T45 T40 Nicole Agnello Virginia 73 72 145 +1
T36 T40 Cyna Marie Rodriguez Southern California 72 73 145 +1
T15 T40 Jennifer Kirby Alabama, U. of 70 75 145 +1
T57 T49 Sally Watson Stanford 74 72 146 +2
T45 T49 Sydney Burlison Stanford 73 73 146 +2
T36 T49 Brooke Goodwin Vanderbilt 72 74 146 +2
T82 T49 Calle Nielson Virginia 78 68 146 +2
T57 T49 Tiffany Lua UCLA 74 72 146 +2
T15 T49 Whitney Neuhauser Virginia 70 76 146 +2
T57 T49 Carlie Yadloczky Auburn 74 72 146 +2
T36 T56 Jane Rah Oklahoma State 72 75 147 +3
T45 T56 Marta Silva Zamora Georgia 73 74 147 +3
T36 T56 Mary Michael Maggio LSU 72 75 147 +3
T45 T56 Marika Lendl Florida, U of 73 74 147 +3
T45 T56 Rhea Nair Alabama, U. of 73 74 147 +3
T57 T61 Milena Savich Georgia 74 74 148 +4
T72 T61 Brittany Altomare Virginia 75 73 148 +4
T57 T61 Desiree Dubreuil Texas 74 74 148 +4
T57 T61 Eleana Collins Virginia 74 74 148 +4
T57 T61 Samantha Troyanovich Tulane University 74 74 148 +4
T57 T61 Amanda Strang South Carolina 74 74 148 +4
T57 T67 Kristina Wong Stanford 74 75 149 +5
T27 T67 Helena Blomberg Alabama, U. of 71 78 149 +5
T72 T67 Karlin Beck * Auburn 75 74 149 +5
T45 T67 Anna Leigh Keith * Vanderbilt 73 76 149 +5
T57 T71 Hillary Wood Oklahoma State 74 76 150 +6
T76 T71 Andrea Messer Vanderbilt 76 74 150 +6
T57 T71 Amalie Valle LSU 74 76 150 +6
T79 T71 Jessica Yadloczky Florida, U of 77 73 150 +6
T45 T71 Patricia Sanz Auburn 73 77 150 +6
T45 T76 Megan Grehan Vanderbilt 73 78 151 +7
T36 T76 Lauren Stratton Vanderbilt 72 79 151 +7
T79 T76 Courtney Ellenbogen Duke 77 74 151 +7
T85 T76 Corrine Carr South Carolina 79 72 151 +7
T76 80 Ashley McKenney Tulane University 76 76 152 +8
T27 T81 Katelyn Sepmoree Texas 71 82 153 +9
T79 T81 Courtney Harter * Alabama, U. of 77 76 153 +9
T72 83 Haley Stephens Texas 75 79 154 +10
T82 84 Meredith Swanson South Carolina 78 77 155 +11
T82 T85 Brittany Benvenuto Arizona 78 78 156 +12
T85 T85 Mia Piccio Florida, U of 79 77 156 +12
90 87 Kyndall Ardoin Arizona 87 73 160 +16
87 88 Taylor Weaver South Carolina 81 80 161 +17
88 89 Stephanie Wagstaff Tulane University 83 80 163 +19
89 90 Gaby Balit * Vanderbilt 85 90 175 +31


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