CHATTANOOGA, TENN - The Duke men's golf team wrapped up the 2009-10 campaign with a tied for 27th place finish at the NCAA Championship at The Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tenn. Senior Adam Long shot an even-par 72 in this afternoon's final round as the Blue Devils totaled an eight-over 288 to finish the tournament with a 54-hole score of 889 (+25).
Oklahoma State won the stroke play championship with a 14-under 850 to claim the top seed in the match-play portion of the championship. Florida State finished second at -10, while Georgia Tech took third at -6. Washington (-4), Oregon (-3), Augusta State (-1) andTexas Tech (+3) also advanced to match play. Stanford, Arizona State and San Diego will take the course tomorrow at 8 am in a three-way playoff for the final spot in the NCAA Match-Play Championship.
Scott Langley of Illinois claimed the individual title with a 10-under 206, while San Diego's Alex Ching and Peter Uihlein (Oklahoma State) tied for second at eight-under 208. Diego Velasquez (Oregon State) shot a six-under 66 in the final round to finish fourth with a seven-under 209, Henrik Norlander (Augusta State) placed fifth at six-under.
Long entered the final round tied for 83rd after shooting a three-over 75 in the second round. He opened today's round with a bogey before playing the next six holes at one-over. Long notched birdies on No. 17 and No. 1 to finish with his sixth even-par round of the season. The senior from St. Louis, Mo. finished tied for 64th with a four-over 220 (73-75-72).
Junior Wes Roach carded three birdies but also suffered four bogeys and one double-bogey in the final round. He finished a team-best tied for 41st with a one-over 217. The Knoxville, Tenn., native recorded a three-under 69 in the first round, and played seven straight holes at one-under in today's final round before suffering a setback on the front nine. He recorded birdies on No. 11, No. 2 and No. 6 to finish the round with a three-over 75.
Brinson Paolini, a freshman from Virginia Beach, Va., closed out the day with a two-over 74 to finish tied for 103rd with a 54-hole score of 225 (+9). Paolini tallied four birdies, but also bogeyed four holes in the final round. He was at one-over heading into the final two holes, and birdied on No. 8 before suffering a double-bogey on No. 9 to finish at two-over.
Sophomore Spencer Anderson finished tied for 128th with a 13-over 229. A product of Pacific Palisades, Calif., Anderson shot a five-over 77 in the final round. He carded birdies on No. 2 and No. 4, but suffered a double-bogey on No. 7 followed by bogeys on No. 8 and No. 9. Anderson's best performance came in the second round, when he posted a two-over 74.
A freshman from St. Augustine, Fla., Julian Suri shot a three-over 75 in the final round to finish tied for 139th with a total score of 231 (+15). Suri birdied on his second hole of the day before posting three bogeys and one double-bogey over the next five holes. His final round included a team-high five birdies on the day.
*** Long closes his career ranked in the top 10 of the record books in stroke average (72.70 - 2nd), rounds played (140 - 2nd), under-par rounds (34 - T-6th), rounds in the 60s (10 - T-7th) and top 10 finishes (11 - T-9th)
*** Duke caps off a season that included 12 individual top 10 finishes and eight top 5 team finishes
*** The Blue Devils will return four regulars from their lineup next season, including ACC Freshman of the Year Brinson Paolini
*** Paolini finished the year with the lowest stroke average by a freshman in school history ... he also matched a Duke freshman record with six rounds in the 60s
Head coach Jamie Green
On the team's performance
"Clearly this was not the tournament we were expecting, planning on or hoping for. I know every one of our guys would like to get back out there and take another crack at that golf course. There were definitely periods where we had some flashes of brilliance with guys hitting some great golf shots and playing some great stretches of holes. We would make a run and unfortunately here and there we would give some shots back."
On junior Wes Roach
"Wes played a terrific tournament and put himself in position heading into the back nine today to finish in the top 15, which would have given him automatic honorable mention All-America status. Unfortunately, he mishit a couple of shots late in his round and got into some tough lies were he was unable to get up and down. He was a certainly a bright spot in the tournament. He had a really good touch around the greens all week and when he mishit a shot he was able to get up and down more often than not."
On the team's resilience
"Everyone one of the guys on the team battled throughout the week. There wasn't any back down or any quit. All of the guys kept fighting and giving themselves opportunities. A few miscues here and there added up and really cost us unfortunately. The guys worked hard all year and got better and improved. That is what gave us the opportunity to make a run through regionals and reach the NCAA Championship. They earned the right to be here and that is going to be a great motivator for the guys that are returning."
On The Honors Course as a host
"From tee to green, it is as good of a test as you would ever want. I think that there were some eyebrows raised about the length during the practice round on some of the holes. There were still some great scores out there. Good players play well on any golf course."
On senior Adam Long
"Adam has played in three out of four national championships. He has the second best scoring average all‐time in Duke history and that has shown that through this week. He was consistent. I know he did not play as well or go as low as he would have liked, but he is going to walk away from this tournament with his head held high because he gave it everything that he had."