DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke men’s golf team captured the Rod Myers Invitational crown for the second straight season after firing a 12-under 852 over the weekend at the Duke University Golf Club. The Blue Devils blistered the course for a 10-under 278 on Sunday to run away with the team title by 12 strokes.
“There is something to be said for home course advantage, our guys like playing out here,” said head coach Jamie Green. “They enjoy the golf course especially when it is setup the way it was. The staff created one of the best tournament experiences that we will have all year and to have it right at home is really special for our guys. They like it, they enjoy playing out here and we had perfect weather and perfect greens and they took advantage of it.”
Senior Julian Suri and North Carolina’s Clark Palmer battled throughout the day for the individual crown before finishing as co-medalists at seven-under (209). Palmer grabbed momentum on Sunday on the par 5 seventh hole when he holed out from 80 yards to grab a two-stroke lead. He held a four-shot advantage with eight holes remaining before Suri carded birdies on No. 11, No. 14 and No. 17 to grab a one shot lead. Suri chipped in from the back of No. 17. Palmer sank a 12-foot par putt on No. 18, while Suri saw an eight-footer slide by the cup for a tie at the top spot.
“Today was a little odd, it was a test of patience more than anything else,” said Suri. “Clark and I go way back and it was fun to go head-to-head with him. I actually think it is kind of fitting it ended in a tie, because we both played really well today.”
Duke was the only team in the field to post three under-par rounds with a 287-287-278=852. The Blue Devils were followed in the field by North Carolina (E, 864), Charlotte (+3, 867), Liberty (+8, 872) and Iowa (+9, 873) in the top five. Tulsa (+11, 875), Baylor (+13, 877), Northwestern (+21, 885), East Carolina (+21, 885), Pacific (+29, 893) and N.C. State (+41, 905) completed the field.
“That was a fun thing for our program to have an event that families can come down for,” added Green. “They can pencil it in their calendar, they can plan on being here. To have all of our guys out here playing, except one guy who was injured, and their families in full force and they played well. They played well in front of the home crowd. Adam Sumrall came in as the top individual for us and to have him be a senior was pretty special as well.”
Duke’s Adam Sumrall and Braeden Cryderman (Charlotte) finished three shots back of the leaders with four-under 212s. Brinson Paolini (Duke) and Logan McCracken (Tulsa) were tied for fifth at three-under (213). Freshman Mads Soegaard and Austin Cody also finished in the top 10 for Duke at tied for seventh and tied for 10th, respectively.
Suri began the day with a bogey before settling in with three straight pars. He added birdies on No. 5, No. 6 and No. 9 to make the turn at two-under. After suffering a double-bogey on the par 4 10th hole, Suri rebounded with birdies on No. 11, No. 14 and No. 17 to get to three-under on the day. He dropped a shot with a bogey on No. 18 for a two-under 70.
Paolini had a rocky start to the final round with back-to-back bogeys. The Virginia Beach, Va., native quickly recovered with a birdie on No. 3 and added birdies on No. 6, No. 7 and No. 9 to get to two-under at the turn. Paolini navigated the back nine with eight pars and a birdie on No. 13 to cap off a three-under 69.
Sumrall, playing as an individual, started the day with a birdie on No. 10 and also recorded a birdie on the par 4 13th hole, while dropping a shot on No. 12 to card a one-under, 35, on his first nine holes of the day. Trailing by two strokes and entering his back-nine, the senior suffered a triple-bogey on No. 1 to drop back to two-over par on the day. The South Bend, Ind., native recovered well with a birdie on No. 7 and an eagle on par 5 ninth hole to finish the day with a one-under 71. The tie for third finish was the best of his career.
Soegaard carded a two-under 70 on Sunday to finish with a two-under 214 for the tournament. After carding 10 straight pars to open his round, the freshman from Denmark recorded his first birdie of the day on the par 5 11th. Soegaard added birdies on the par 5 14th and the 16th hole before suffering his lone bogey of the round on No. 17. He now has two top 10 finishes on the season.
Cody, playing as an individual, registered an even-par 72 on Sunday. After recording a double-bogey on the par-four 10th, his opening hole of the day, Cody settled down to play two-under golf the remainder of the way. He carded birdies on No. 11 and No. 9 to finish the tournament in a six-way tie for 10th.
After competing in the World
Amateur event in Turkey last week, senior Tim Gornik registered a three-under
par, 69, in his final round of the tournament. The native of Slovenia collected
four birdies and a bogey on the front nine to make the turn at three-under.
Gornik parred the final nine holes of the day to finish the tournament in a tie
for 18th with a two-over 218.
Freshman Motin Yeung shot a four-over 76 on Sunday to finish tied for 42nd at +10 (226). He carded three birdies but also suffered three bogeys and a pair of double-bogeys in the round.
Sophomores Turner Southey-Gordon and Michael Ricaurte also competed as individuals for the Blue Devils. Southey-Gordon finished tied for 25th with a four-over 220. He birdied three of the final four holes on Sunday to post a three-over 75. His round was derailed on his 11th hole (No. 2), when he suffered a nine on the par 4. Ricaurte finished 64th with a 240.
“It is wonderful for us, obviously have Nancy Myers here and to remember Rod and to have so many coaches, rules officials, volunteers everybody with a tear in their eye and a smile excited to be here,” said Green. “On top of it, to have a victory it was even more special. It was something that we know his friends and family like to watch our guys have success. That was a lot of fun for our guys to enjoy today.”
Duke returns to action Oct. 19-21 at the United States Collegiate Championship in Alpharetta, Ga.
*** Duke now has two tournament victories on the year, marking the second time in the last three seasons the Blue Devil have won two or more events
*** Head coach Jamie Green now has 24 career tournament wins, including seven at Duke since the spring of 2009
*** Duke claimed a tournament victory at the Duke University Golf Club from the 11th time overall … the Blue Devils have won two of the three Rod Myers Invitational events
*** Suri claimed a share of individual medalist honors for his third career victory … he has now finished in the top 10 in all three fall events for the Blue Devils … Suri also won the 2011 Rod Myers Invitational
*** Suri and Palmer (North Carolina) set a new RMI record with low individual tournaments of seven-under 209 … they were the only players in the field to shoot under-par in all three rounds at the Duke University Golf Club
*** Duke’s 12-under 852 was the second lowest 54-hole score in the three year history of the Rod Myers Invitational … the Blue Devils were the only team in the field to shoot under-par in all three rounds … Duke’s 10-under 278 in the final round was also the second-lowest 18 hole score in tournament history
*** Duke grabbed a commanding lead in the RMI with some outstanding play to close out the front nine … the Blue Devils were eight-under with 10 birdies on No. 6-9 on Sunday
*** Suri has five under-par rounds on the season and is currently tied for fourth at Duke with 40 career under-par rounds … Paolini has shot even-par or better in six rounds this season and ranked third at Duke with 56 career rounds of even-par or better golf