LOS CABOS, MEXICO – Freshman Chandler Eaton was stellar in his initial round of Duke’s first tournament of the spring, reeling in a one-under 70 for the day while the Blue Devils shot a nine-over 293 to place themselves tied for 11th in the 15-team field.
Consistency was the name of the game for Duke on Sunday, and finding it was what head coach Jamie Green believed was the solution to the slow start.
“At times in the beginning, guy were tight,” he said. “It took a few holes to loosen things up so that the guys could relax. With that said, a couple of them recognized it, which was a positive. They said, ‘I’m jumpy and anxious here, I can’t force this.’”
Such an observation proved to be true, as two Blue Devils managed to land themselves among the top regarding recorded pars following the shakiness in the early going.
Eaton and senior Alexander Matlari each tallied 13 pars in their opening round, highlighted by Eaton’s solid par 3 play, shooting even for the round.
Duke’s No. 1 man in the lineup entering the tournament, junior Adam Wood, managed to secure one of the day’s few eagles en route to shooting a 79 (+8) on the afternoon.
Alex Smalley finished the day tied for 65th after wrapping up a 77 (+6) performance.
Coach Green was particularly impressed with Shuman’s ability to rebound. “I think Jake got off to a tight start, but he definitely eased himself into the round as the day went on.”
Low man on the afternoon—Chandler Eaton—had Duke’s only under-par performance, and credited his iron game for his day-one success that left him tied for 16th. “I was able to control [the irons] really well, and was able to stay pretty patient,” he said. “I didn’t do anything lights out, but I didn’t make any big mistakes.”
When asked how the team can collectively rebound in the second round on Monday, Eaton echoed his head coach’s focus of stability. “We can’t get caught up into what other teams are doing,” he said. “We have to have the confidence that if we play well, that’ll be good enough.”
Tee times will start at 11 a.m. ET on Monday for the second round. Live scoring for the Querencia Cabo Collegiate will be available via golfstatresults.com.