NOTRE DAME, IN - The Duke men's golf team is 11th overall following one round of play at the NCAA Central Regional at the Warren Golf Course in Notre Dame, Ind. The Blue Devils shot a 12-over 292 on Thursday in the opening round as senior Adam Long fired a team-low 70 (E).
Top-seed Stanford holds the first round lead with a three-under 277 with Florida two shots back with a 279. LSU posted an even-par 280 and Florida State shot a 283 (+3) to sit in third and fourth, respectively. Virginia Tech and Northwestern are tied for fifth at four-over (284) with Michigan (285), Indiana (285), Iowa (288) and N.C. State (289) rounding out the top 10. Duke is 11th with a 292 followed by Detroit Mercy (297), Murray State (297) and St. Francis [Pa.] (319).
"The end of the day maybe won't show it on the scoreboard, but we played a lot of holes really well," said head coach Jamie Green. "On this type of golf course, in this type of tournament, if you run into a tough stretch, there's so many teams bunched up that it's going to knock you on the head on the scoreboard. And that's what we experienced out here."
Senior Adam Long was the lone Blue Devil to get off to a fast start on Thursday, posting birdies on No. 10, No. 12 and No. 15 to get to three-under in the round. He carded a bogey on the par 5 17th hole and made the turn with a two-under 33. The St. Louis, Mo., native birdied No. 2 and No. 3 to get to four-under and grab a share of the tournament lead heading into the final six holes of play. He went through a bogey-double-bogey-bogey stretch on Nos. 6-8 and closed with a par to close the day with an even-par 70. He enters Friday's second round tied for 13th overall.
"If you would have told me I would shoot an even-par 70 in the opening round I would have been satisfied," said Long. "I was in position to go low after playing 14 holes really well, so it is a little hard to settle for even-par. My swing got a little out of rhythm tempo-wise for that three hole stretch and got me into some trouble. We are planning on bouncing back tomorrow with a complete team effort. We need all five guys to step up and play like we know we are capable of. There is a lot of golf left to play and we are confident we can get back into position to contend heading into the final nine holes of play on Saturday."
Brinson Paolini, a Virginia Beach, Va., native bogeyed four of his first five holes in the opening round. He recovered to birdie No. 16 and No. 17 to get back to two-over before a bogey on No. 18 left him with a three-over 38 at the turn. Paolini birdied No. 1 and added four straight pars before falling back to three-over with a bogey on No. 6. He closed with three straight pars to end the day tied for 36th with a 73.
Freshman Julian Suri got off to a rocky start with a double-bogey on his first hole (No. 10) of the tournament. He slipped to three-over following a bogey on No. 12 before climbing back to even par with a birdie on No. 14 and a chip-in eagle on the par 5 17th hole. Back-to-back bogeys on No. 2 and No. 3 dropped Suri to two-over, but the St. Augustine, Fla., native responded with a birdie on No. 5. He ran into trouble on the par 4 seventh hole with a triple-bogey to fall to four-over before capping the day with consecutive pars for a 74. Suri is tied for 47th heading into tomorrow's second round.
Spencer Anderson, a sophomore from Pacific Palisades, Calif., is tied for 52nd after shooting a five-over 75 in the opening round. He had 13 pars and five bogeys in the round to shoot a 75 or better for the 22nd time this season. Junior Wes Roach never got on track on Thursday shooting a seven-over 77. He opened with three straight bogeys and closed his opening nine holes at six-over par. He bounced back to shoot one-over on the final nine holes to end the day tied for 63rd.
"There's no question in my mind that every one of these guys is capable of playing at the highest level these last two days," Green added. "It's not going to take a Herculean effort, but it is going to take low rounds the next two days. We're in great shape if we can do that and our guys know that."
Duke opens second round play on Friday at 8:50 a.m. on No. 10 at Warren Golf Course. The Blue Devils will be paired with N.C. State and Murray State. Live scoring for the event is available at www.golfstat.com.
"The best thing they can do is just get over it. That's what I told them - just get over it," Green said. "Great golfers have long memories for the right things and short memories for the things that aren't so good. So that's the task at hand, and I believe in these guys. We're going to saddle back up, start on No. 10 tomorrow and get it going."
*** Long was named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District III Men's At-Large team on Thursday.
*** Long shot a team-low 70 on Thursday, the ninth time this season he has posted Duke's low round. He was one of 20 players to shoot even-par or better in the first round.
*** Long was tied for the first round tournament lead with five birdies.
*** Suri's eagle on the par 5 17th hole was one of two eagles on the day. Suri also had a 24-foot eagle putt on the par 5 fifth hole lip out.
*** Suri played the two par 5s at three-under in the opening round, tops among the 75 player field. He was also tied for the tournament lead in par 3 scoring at one-under.
*** Anderson finished the first round tied for sixth with 13 pars.
*** As a team, the Blue Devils finished the day with 12 birdies and an eagle.
*** Duke struggled to close out the day playing the final four holes at 10-over with a triple-bogey, double-bogey and five bogeys.