FRANKLIN, TENN. – In their first round of competition since winning the Grand Canyon Invitational, Duke shot an impressive 280 (-4) to end the first day of the Mason Rudolph Championship in fourth on the leaderboard.
Beginning action on the Vanderbilt Legends Club (Par 71, 7100 yards), the Blue Devils finished the day only two spots behind back-to-back reigning champion and host, Vanderbilt.
Freshman Chandler Eaton concluded his opening round as Duke’s low man, shooting a 69 (-2) which was good enough to place him tied for eighth on the leaderboard. The Alpharetta, Ga. native highlighted his effort with an eagle on the 14th hole. “I think overall it was a ‘B’ type of performance, but that speaks to what we can do moving forward given that we finished four under par,” Eaton said. “We hung in there and we made something good of it.”
Sophomore Alex Smalley finished with a 70 (-1), shooting a bogey-less front nine while also recording an eagle on 14. The Wake Forest, N.C. native ended the day tied for 17th.
Teammate Adam Wood—who replaced Matt Oshrine as Duke’s no. 5 man due to Oshrine’s back issues—rounded out an impressive afternoon as well, tallying a 70 (-1) with an eagle on 14. The junior also went bogey-less on the front nine which ultimately helped him finish his first round tied for 17th. “I played really really well, especially for the first 16 holes,” Wood said. “I had a couple slip ups, but I did some things really well and that gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”
Head coach Jamie Green also spoke highly of Wood’s performance. “He’s a fantastic player, and nobody would be surprised if he went out and played well like he did,” Green said. “He played some of the best golf he’s played this year, today.”
Entering the tournament no. 1 for Duke’s lineup, Alexander Matlari recorded an even par day, bringing in a 71 for the afternoon. That effort would place him tied for 23rd.
Junior Jake Shuman was Duke’s only over-par golfer on the day; however, the Needham, Mass. managed to keep himself in the running by shooting a 73 (+2). Shuman was able to garner four birdies on the day.
With the first round in the books, Duke will look to climb further up the leaderboard in pursuit of a second consecutive team championship as they begin day two tomorrow morning.
Live stats will be available via golfstatresults.com.
A recap of the Camp Lejeune Intercollegiate Golf Championship will be posted following the conclusion of the event.