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Blue Devils Primed for ACC Championship
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 04/19/2017
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DURHAM, N.C. – Seeking its eighth ACC Championship in school history, No. 24 Duke will hit the links for the conference tournament this weekend. The championship will take place from April 21-23 and will be played at the Musgrove Mill Golf Club (par 72, 6,951 yards) in Clinton, S.C. Having secured top-three finishes in two of their last three tournaments—highlighted by a victory at the GCU Invitational—the Blue Devils will be entering the postseason with ample momentum.

Action will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, along with an 8:30 a.m. tee time on Sunday. Getting things started Friday will be Virginia Tech, NC State and North Carolina teeing off from the No. 10 tee, with Florida State, Georgia Tech and Duke opening on the No. 1 tee. Shortly thereafter, Boston College, Notre Dame and Louisville will open up play at No. 10 and be followed by Virginia, Clemson and Wake Forest on No. 1.

Entering the weekend, the Blue Devils will be seeking their first title since 2013, a championship weekend that saw the team overcome a four-shot deficit on the final day of play to obtain the win.

Leading the charge for Duke’s lineup will be seasoned veteran Alexander Matlari, who secured a career-low and course record 63 (-8) round in the team’s GCU Invitational victory earlier this season. The senior will bring with him the third best stroke average on the team—a solid 71.39—as well as the top vs. par mark at -0.11. Matlari has garnered two first-place finishes thus far in his final campaign, and will seek to continue that dominance in his third ACC Championship.

Coming in at No. 2 for Duke will be Chandler Eaton, a freshman who has played far and above his age, serving as the team’s leader in stroke average for the majority of the season. That title will remain with him when the team begins action this weekend as the Alpharetta, Ga. native currently boasts a 71.33 average heading into the tournament. Eaton has also performed with great consistency this year, finishing fourth on the leaderboard three times in his first season as a Blue Devil.

Alex Smalley will take the No. 3 position after putting together three consecutive 71 (E) rounds in the team’s most recent tournament, the Wolfpack Spring Open. The sophomore, whose best performance in the regular season came in the form of a second-place finish in the GCU Invitational, has also been a staple for the program, sharing a team lead for rounds played with 30. He owns a 71.37 stroke average and shares the lead in par 3 scoring for the team with a 3.06 average.

Teammates Matt Oshrine and Jake Shuman enter as the No. 4 and No. 5 golfers for Duke, respectively. The former is coming off an impressive outing at the Wolfpack Spring Open, a tournament where he would play as No. 5 for Duke’s lineup and walk away as the team’s low man for the weekend after shooting a 209 (-4). Shuman is also coming into the weekend on the right foot, having shot under par in Raleigh as an individual in the event. 

Serving as an alternate for Duke in the championship will be Adam Wood. The junior who hails from Zionsville, Ind. has played in nine tournaments this season and has a 72.58 stroke average to his name.

Golfstatresults.com will have live scoring all three days of the event, and the ACC Network Extra will broadcast live coverage beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Duke ACC Championship History

Team championship titles: 1954, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1966, 2005, 2013

Individual champions: John Abernethy (1962), Fred Ewald (1966), Thorny Hoelle (1969), Jason Widener (1990), Matt Krauss (1999), Ryan Blaum (2005)


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