CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – For the second time this season, the third-ranked Duke women’s golf team holds the team lead heading into the final round of a tournament. The Blue Devils lead the Tar Heel Invitational by 12 strokes with 18 holes remaining at the 6,285-yard, par 72 Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Duke carded a season-best six-under-par, 282, on Saturday and is now at eight-under-par, 568, through 36 holes. Alabama shot a team-low, 281, on day two to move into second place (580), while Oklahoma (582), Vanderbilt (584), Clemson (584), Mississippi (585), Florida (586), Arkansas (587), Wake Forest (589) and North Carolina (589) rounded out the top 10.
The Blue Devils featured four golfers shooting even par or better, including three under-par ledgers by sophomore Celine Boutier (68), Laetitia Beck (71) and Yu Liu (71). Beck, who is a native of Caesarea, Israel, enters the final round in a tie for second at four-under-par, 140. She is only three shots off the individual lead, which is held by Clemson freshman Ashlan Ramsey (137).
Beck was even par through 12 holes before carding birdies on the 14th and 16th holes to get to two-under-par. A double-bogey on the 17th hole brought the All-America selection back to even par. Beck responded with a birdie on the 376-yard, par four 18th to finish with a 71. She hit 16 greens, eight fairways and totaled 32 putts on the day.
A product of Montrouge, France, Boutier posted Duke’s best round of the day as she fired a career-best four-under-par, 68, and is tied fourth with a two-day total of 141. She kicked off her day moving to two-under-par through 10 holes with birdies on the sixth and 10th holes. Boutier suffered a bogey on No. 11 before closing three-under-par over the last five holes.
Liu, a rookie from Beijing, China, posted her second straight round of 71 on Saturday and is tied sixth overall with a 36-hole total of 142. She had Duke’s best start to the day with birdies on three out of her first six holes to move to two-under-par. Liu suffered back-to-back birdies on No. 7 and No. 8 to fall back to even par. She carded a birdie on the 374-yard, par four ninth to make the turn at one-under-par, 35. Liu closed the afternoon with an even-par back nine to finish with a 71.
Freshman Sandy Choi had another solid day turning in an even-par, 72, as she fired four birdies on the day. Choi, who is from San Diego, Calif., opened her round with a two-over-par, 38, on the front nine. She registered three birdies on the back nine on her way to posting a two-under-par ledger to finish at even-par, 72. She hit 11 fairways, 13 greens and had 30 putts on the day.
For the second straight day, senior Alejandra Cangrejo struggled with an 82 and is tied 93rd entering the final day of action.
The Blue Devils own a team-best 28 birdies through the first 36 holes. Duke also led the NCAA Fall Preview by one stroke over Oklahoma.
Duke will tee off on Sunday in the final round beginning at 9:15 a.m., along with Alabama and Oklahoma. The teams will feature a shotgun start with the Blue Devils on holes 1-3. Live scoring will be available on www.GoHeels.com and Birdiefire.com